By Gift Makwinja
While everyone is ‘excited’ with the recent Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) forensic audit report which has seen former RBM Governor and other former and current top goons at RBM arrested, let us not be overjoyed with this, let us look at facts.
First of all, the auditors who did this forensic report, Deloitte, all I can say that I am ashamed to be called an auditor (well that’s my profession!) because of the shoddy job that you guys at Deloitte did on this report, ohh my oh my look at the gaps that are in this report which you could have easily addressed had you spared some time to actually investigate and not write propaganda disguised as an audit.
First, let us start with the RBM’s market interventions between December 2018 to December 2020 where Deloitte auditors are querying a treasury note programme with Afrexim Bank in 2018 and 2019 and the K6.5 billion payments made to FDH Bank, so as auditors, you saw no reason of checking what was the agreement between RBM and Afrexim Bank with FDH Bank as a local custodial bank for the securities of their deal? For those in the know, there is no way RBM was going to pay FDH Bank for custodial duties as RBM was borrowing go to the basics and check again about custodial agreements! I would not be surprised if FDH Bank tells you that they got their custodial fees from Afrexim Bank, because that is how it works, yet people at Deloitte did not see this, or deliberately ignored it, at least you should have asked!
Then there is ‘a suspicious payment’ of MK4.1 billion to Pensions and Gratuity Account without an approved funding instruction from the government and Deloitte people say this is connected to FDH Bank, how? Did you check if this money is indeed in the account of the Bank? Who administers the Pensions and Gratuity Account? Did you talk to them to get the answers? Is there any contract between RBM and FDH Bank on this? Come on Deloitte!
Now there is the issue of the disbursement of US$769 million for market interventions which Delloitte says was ‘disproportionately channeled through FDH Bank inconsistent with its size’.
Now now now, all this money was for all the banks in the country to buy and it did not bother Deloitte to check how much other banks bought this money and you present it here as if this whole amount was for FDH Bank, come on!
Then there is a funny (meaning hilarious) one about the so-called MK4.3 billion being transferred to the Chief Elections Officer account held at FDH Bank on the eve of the elections. Ha ha ha ha! We all know that government was broke that time and RBM transferred the money to MEC through this account (whoever named it the Chief Elections Officer-account) for the administration of the elections which went on well save for some 15 monitors for the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and United Democratic Front (UDF) alliance who are missing and are yet to be found! So, is the issue that the money was transferred to an account which is being held at FDH Bank or the money was stolen by the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) Chief Elections Officer? What if this account was held at another bank, say Standard Bank?
I can go on and on, but while we are all happy with this audit report, I think the auditors, Deloitte would have done a good job but believe you me, some of these findings will not stand in a court of law, facts!
Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article are those the author not necessarily of The Maravi Post or Editor