The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of Parliament has summoned officials from the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) and Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) and other agencies to update the committee on progress in Cashgate.
PAC chairperson Alekeni Menyani said in an interview yesterday the interface meetings have been scheduled for next week for updates on the comprehensive work plan that government is implementing following Cashgate revelations.
PAC also wants to see if Cashgate related issues and recommendations it made to government are being followed to avoid another incidence of Cashgate, which resulted in the loss of K24 billion during the six months period between April and September 2013 as uncovered by British auditors Baker Tilly.
It is, however, believed that Cashgate dates back to 2005 following the introduction of the Integrated Financial Management System (Ifmis) through which more billions of taxpayers’ money are suspected to have been stolen.
It is this belief that has prompted bilateral donors such as Britain and Germany to offer funds to help investigate Cashgate-related theft beyond the six months period in 2013 and go as far back as 2005.
Menyani said: “We want assurances that the measures that they said they would put in place have been done and that the tap has been closed and people won’t be stealing from government as it happened. We don’t want to know what happened—there are reports, which have outlined that, but deterrents that no accounts assistants steal money.”
On the appearance of the DPP and ACB which have confirmed their attendance, Menyani said PAC respected the role the two agencies are playing, but they had a mandate to report to Parliament as well on progress of Cashgate cases at the courts.
He said the committee was no longer interested in the arrests or names of people, but implementation of recommendations to strengthen public finance management and avoid another Cashgate.
Other officials summoned to appear before the committee include Financial Intelligence Unit, Reserve Bank of Malawi, Secretary to the Treasury, Accountant General and Chief Secretary to the Government.