Malawi Government says Treasury has released K65million (US$155 502) for continued investigation and prosecution of cashgate cases amid reports that about K170 million (US$406 698) is needed to speed up trials in the courts.
Speaking during a cashgate update press conference held yesterday in Lilongwe, Minister of Information Brown Mpinganjira said the K65 million has been shared by six institutions including Judiciary, Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB), Malawi Police Service (MPS) and office of the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP).
“[This] means that the High Court will from next week commence hearing of cases which were committed to it. This is in addition to cashgate related cases being heard at magistrates’ courts,” said Mpinganjira.
He said the number of cashgate cases committed to the High Court through the DPP remains at 35, saying 18 more cases are pending committal to High Court through the ACB.
“The ACB continues to restrict access to related bank accounts and the disposal of such properties as houses, vehicles and land under investigations, as well as profiling of property connected with suspicious transactions. So far, about 60 companies have been profiled and 50 bank accounts have been restricted,” said Mpinganjira.
He also said authorities will on January 28 be interviewing three people shortlisted for the ICT security officer position to strengthen security of the Integrated Financial Management Information System (Ifmis), as the successful candidate is expected to start work in February.
“The bank reconciliation of all government accounts which was last done in July 2013 is continuing and currently, reconciliation for December 2013 has been completed. This allows government to monitor expenditure on daily basis.
“Capping of monthly funding ceiling, which started with January 2014 funding, has been useful in enabling government monitor expenditure against funding on a regular basis which was not the case before. A cash management committee was also being set up in order to monitor flow of resources on a regular basis,” said Mpinganjira.
He said government expects the International Monetary Fund (IMF) board meeting resolution to disburse a further $20 million (about K9 billion) to the country under the Extended Credit Facility (ECF) programme to encourage other donors to do the same.