In May 2015, a financial analysis report by audit and business advisory firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) established that about K577 billion in public funds could not be reconciliated between 2009 and December 31 2014.
Yesterday, some members of Parliament (MPs) wanted the House to discuss the report in the wake of revelations that seven Cabinet ministers were allegedly involved in the mismanagement of the funds.
Rumphi East MP Kamlepo Kalua (People’s Party-PP) wanted the House to waive all business planned for the day to deliberate on the alleged corruption.
He also wanted the suspected seven Cabinet ministers sent out of Parliament and only be allowed back after being cleared.
On his part, Mzimba West MP Harry Mkandawire (PP) also told the House that the media had reported on the same; hence, the need for the ministers to be thrown out.
He said: “These Cabinet ministers know themselves and if they have a shred of honour, they should have resigned until investigations on the matter are over.”
But Msowoya said it was a preliminary report and that there was no need for the Cabinet ministers to be sent out.
He said: “This is a preliminary report and we cannot believe what the newspapers write. If any member speaks on this again, they will be sent out of the House.”
But Kalua said he was suspicious of the Speaker’s actions in blocking members from deliberating on the issue.
In an interview later, Kalua said: “This is a matter of national importance and for him [the Speaker] to just come up and stop everything like that we are wondering if he is not a beneficiary of the same. We are questioning his wisdom, capacity and independence in the chamber.
“The fact that the files have been sent to the Anti-Corruption Bureau [ACB] does not even satisfy us because we know that they [ACB] will sit on these files and nothing will happen. You will see. We are not happy with the decision of the Speaker that is why some of us walked out of the chambers just to express our dismay.”
The PwC report, titled Financial Analysis Report: Reconstruction of the Malawi Government Cashbook for Purposes of Further Investigation, was submitted to Parliament and Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee was yet to scrutinise it and make recommendations to the whole House.
The K577 billion came amid revelations of Cashgate—the plunder of public funds at Capital Hill—exposed in 2013 as people abused the electronic central payment system, Intergrated Financial Management Information System (Ifmis).
The shooting of former Ministry of Finance budget director Paul Mphwiyo outside the gate of his Area 43 residence in Lilongwe on the night of September 13 2013 is widely believed to have led to revelations of the plunder of public resources at Capital Hill.
Former president Joyce Banda ordered an audit which British forensic audit firm Baker Tilly carried out for the period April to September 2013. The audit established that about K24 billion was siphoned from public coffers through dubious payments, inflated invoices and claims for goods or services not rendered.