A team of independent reviewers has started re-examining an audit exercise undertaken in 2015 at the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) which revealed alleged financial abuse of about K15.4 million.
Both MEC acting director of media and public relations Richard Mveriwa and MEC chairperson for the audit committee Mary Nkosi confirmed the development yesterday.
The probe team started re-evaluating the audit last week and had an audience over the weekend with MEC commissioners to brief them on the progress.
Said Nkosi: “The team indeed met the MEC commissioners on Saturday at MEC offices principally to brief us, commissioners, that they had started the review. They also discussed the terms of reference [ToRs] and time frame.”
She said in terms of time frame, the independent reviewers are expected to carry out the review and complete within 30 days.
“This is not an audit but a review of the audit which was undertaken in 2015,” said Nkosi, a former deputy governor of the Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM).
However, she could not divulge further details on the ToRs.
Last month, government appointed a three-member team comprising Auditor General Stevenson Kamphasa, retired judge of the Malawi Supreme Court of Appeal Duncan Tambala and Rex Harawa, managing partner for AMG Global, certified public accountants and auditors to reassess the audit.
However, to smoothen the progress of the exercise government sent on forced leave senior managers and other members of staff on August 24 2016.
The affected officers who were sent on forced leave include chief elections officer Willie Kalonga, deputy chief elections officer (operations) Harris Potani, director of administration and human resources George Khaki and director of finance Khumbo Phiri.
Others are procurement manager Edington Chilapondwa, procurement officer Chimwemwe Kamala and assistant procurement officer Sydney Ndembe.
The decision followed a resolution made in May this year by delegates to Malawi Electoral Cycle Support (Mecs) project steering committee meeting, comprising government officials and development partners to send the officers on leave.
Initially, a special investigative audit conducted between July 2012 and December 2014 by Ministry of Finance, Economic Planning and Development through its Central Internal Audit Unit revealed that about K1.6 billion could not be explained by the embattled MEC management.