State House under probe over K4 billion scam


The State House is among several ministries and departments implicated in the K4 billion scam in which public officers are accused of drawing millions, by-passing the government accounting system —the integrated financial management information system (IFMIS).

National Audit Office spokesperson Thomas Chafunya said this week the investigative audit on some payments has also spread to State House.

Malawi's state house

“The terms of reference for our engagement was to test security of systems of IFMIS payments from several key areas. These were the Accountant General, then the police and later extended to the army..,” said Chafunya.

“Several ministries will be covered in this investigations, including the State House,” he said.

Malawi’s key donors, meeting under the Common Approach to Budget Support (Cabs), urged government to expeditiously bring to book the culprits involved in the K4 billion scam.

“Since connivance might have taken place in defrauding government, Cabs hopes that the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB), the Malawi Police and the Financial Intelligence Unit will professionally and expeditiously do their work and bring to book those alleged to have been involved,” said Andrew Mwaba, co-chair of the donor grouping.

Mwaba is also resident representative for the African Development Bank (AfDB).

The investigative audit on the IFMIS was sanctioned by government after revelation that a public officer had over K400 million in his bank account.

“Our team is working hand in hand with the Reserve Bank of Malawi, ACB and Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU),” said Chafunya.

Since the National Audit Office started the investigations, their offices have been attacked and some files stolen whereas ACB director Alex Nampota and his officers have been intimidated by some angry thugs who threatened to set the office on fire if the probe was not halted.

Chafunya declined to disclose how far the investigations have gone and how many senior officers are being questioned at State House and the Malawi Defence Force.

He said that releasing such information may jeopardise investigations.

The ACB were yet to respond to a questionnaire e-mailed to them to shed more light on the investigations.

Richard Kapinga, an accounts clerk at the Accountant General’s office, was the first to be arrested when he was found with K404 million in his bank account. He is currently on bail and has been suspended from work.

Assistant Commissioner Elijah Kachikuwo, who was director of finance at police headquarters, was also arrested. He is also on bail and has since been removed from his position.

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