The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of Parliament has rejected the forensic audit report into the fraud and theft of money from the Malawi Government which found that over K13 billion (about $32.5m) was stolen between April and September last year.
The forensic audit report, produced by British firm Baker Tilly, does not contain the names of companies and individuals involved in the theft reportedly to avoid prejudicing legal proceedings currently in court.
However, the auditors said the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB), the Malawi Police Service and the Director of Public Prosecutions were given the full report to compare against ongoing investigations.
But this development did not please the committee on the first day of its three-day meeting yesterday during which members asked Auditor General Stephenson Kamphasa to submit the report containing full details of who perpetrated the theft of public funds.
The Auditor General on Thursday gave an overview of the report which Baker Tilly submitted to his office, but this did not impress the members of Parliament (MPs) who, just like ordinary Malawians, felt the report was lacking critical information.
In an interview after the morning meeting, PAC vice-chairperson Davidson Nyadani said the committee could not carry out its oversight duty with half-baked information.
But in its report which the Speaker of Parliament handed over to the committee to facilitate their meeting, the forensic auditors said they submitted a report containing the criminal nature of ‘cashgate’ to prosecuting agencies.
“We have to know which controlling officers were responsible when this money was stolen and these are supposed to appear before Parliament to give their side of the story. The Anti-Corruption Bureau and others can deal with the criminal nature such as prosecution and recovery of these resources, but we want to know the whole truth,” Nyadani said.
Nyadani said the Auditor General had promised to submit the report to the committee as requested by today.
The committee has also summoned Minister of Finance Mkwezalamba as the first person to answer queries from the MPs; after which, a report would be submitted to Parliament when it convenes first week of April as confirmed by Speaker of Parliament Henry Chimunthu Banda.
A public release of the full report containing names and details of the culprits of cashgate was one of the demands by the civil society organisations who organised a demonstration in Blantyre on Thursday.