The National Audit Office (NAO) says an audit report for 10 of the country’s foreign missions is now ready and should be submitted to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs before the end of this week.
In an interview yesterday, NAO spokesperson Rabson Kagwamminga, who said the report will also be made available to other relevant agencies, refused to give details of the key findings of the review.
He argued that in accordance with the provisions of the Public Audit Act and the International Standards of Supreme Audit Institutions (ISSAIs), the outcome of the audit will only be made public after the document is tabled in Parliament through the Minister of Finance.
Kagwamminga added that the audit recommendations will also be communicated to the relevant authorities for appropriate action.
The audited embassies included China, Egypt, United Arab Emirates of Dubai and Tanzania.
Kagwamminga also indicated that NAO has made a provision in its 2017/18 fiscal year to audit the remaining foreign missions, including Zambia, Zimbabwe, United States of America and Mozambique.
In a separate interview, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation spokesperson Rejoice Shumba said NAO requested explanations on some queries in relation to audits in the embassies and that the ministry provided the necessary answers and clarifications.
However, she refused to disclose the nature of the queries NAO made.
Public Accounts Committee (PAC) chairperson Alekeni Menyani said his committee is anxiously waiting for the report and having it tabled in the House as soon as possible.
According to him, well-wishers tipped off his committee was tipped of massive looting of public funds at the Malawi High Commission in Kenya and is analysing some documents made available.
In November last year, the government deployed about 30 auditors to 10 out of the country’s 19 foreign missions following allegations of fraud and maladministration of finances.
At the time, the NAO spokesperson said the assignment demanded more seriousness and extra attention because it has been a long time since his office last audited the missions.
The corruption in foreign mission came to light early last year when it was established that close to K184 million was abused at the Malawi Embassy in Ethiopia.
The development led to the suspension and subsequent arrest of deputy ambassador at the mission Doreen Kapanga. Fletcher Chou, who was the first secretary for administration and finance, was also suspended.
An audit at the mission in Addis Ababa, which also caters for the African Union (AU), revealed that about $406 206.15 (about K293 million) was misappropriated from public coffers and allegedly deposited into personal accounts of some staff.
The alleged plunder of public funds at the Addis Ababa mission was detected after Chowe, reportedly wrote a cheque in his name.