The Institute of Internal Auditors in Malawi (IIAM) says unless Malawians working in both public and private sector embrace a sense of integrity, cases of fraud will continue to be the order of the day across the country.
Immediate past president of the Institute of Internal Auditors in Malawi Kingsley Mulewa offered the tip in Lilongwe last Friday when he officially closed a 2014 fraud and forensic investigations training session.
“I must be honest with you, fraud has always been there, and it will always be there but the view of the body is that it must start from the integrity of members that are employed in different sections of governments departments,” said Mulewa.
The association’s view comes in the wake of last year’s revelations of massive fraud of public funds at Capital Hill popularly known as cashgate which has led to a flurry of arrests of both junior and senior civil servants.
The revelations have also prompted Malawi’s major donors sitting under the Common Approach to Budgetary Support (Cabs) withholding budget support beginning 7th November, 2013 worth $150 million.
“We have heard about many incidences with huge amounts of money being siphoned out of a business set up through what was supposed to be an effective controlling system,” added Mulewa.
He said what the institute has not heard about is a situation where huge sums of money were successfully blocked or controlled before being in the wrong hands.
He added: “Even from far, did we not see employees with little take home driving expensive cars?”
According to Mulewa, it is the desire of IIAM to equip all professionals in their areas of mandate such as governance, risk management and controls.
He said such areas of mandate are of significant importance because of the levels of sophistication coming as a consequence of developments in various areas of business especially ICT.
Mulewa said IIAM in collaboration with the University of Malawi through the Polytechnic has contributed in coming up with a bachelors in commerce-internal audit (Bcomia) degree.
“This we believe is a milestone in that the internal audit profession will be given the prominence it deserves and the quality of internal audit work will improve to the benefit of employers and all stakeholders,” he added.