LILONGWE-(MaraviPost). The country’s taxpayers money is still being abused with the latest revelations that MK293 million has been looted at Malawi’s embassy office in Ethiopia.
The development comes amid the nation’s struggling economically with high inflation, skyrocketing good and services prices among others.
Addressing the news conference on Thursday, May 5 in the capital Lilongwe, Francis Kasayira, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation expressed sadness over the looting which is currently pegged at MK293 million from earlier disclosure of MK20 million.
Minister Kasayira hinted that all public officers involved in the looting will be taken to task for repayment.
Kasayira disclosed that the ministry plans to recall 50 diplomats in foreign mission who have stayed more than the required three years-tenure of office.
“As you are aware, the Ambassador at our Mission in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia reported of an attempted fraud by members of staff at the Mission. The Ministry therefore, instituted an Investigative Audit at the Mission to establish if indeed the fraud had occurred, the extent of the fraud, the perpetrators of the fraud and identify the weakness in the system of internal controls which led to this fraud.
“I would like to report to the nation, through you, members of the press that the Auditors we had assigned to undertake the exercise are now back and they have indeed uncovered massive fraudulent activities taking place at the Mission.The report, shows that there has been systematic and merciless plunder of public resources at the Addis Ababa Mission from 2013. As much as US$406,246.15 (or K293 million) has been siphoned out by three of the Missions officials of the Embassy into their accounts”, says Minister Kasayira.
Kasayira further indicated that At the issue was now a matter of theft and has been forwarded to the prosecuting authorities to do their investigations and prosecute those who were involved in this plunder of public resources.
“The Ministry has also written the Auditor General to conduct independent audits in all the other Missions beginning with those which have not been audited in the recent past. We have been informed that the NAO are starting the exercise with Pretoria Mission and Johannesburg consulate from 9th May 2016“, disclosed Kasayira.
Malawi’s deputy ambassador Doreen Kapanga and secretary Fletcher Chowe in Ethiopia had been suspended as the findings then revealed that they stole money amounting to K20 Million. But a fresh audit says the amount stolen is pegged at MK293 million.
It is reported that the diplomats in Embassy had been writing cheques in their names until they were caught red handed in similar acts.
Meanwhile the National Audit Office (NAO)has revealed that civil servants and other unscrupulous Malawians defrauded government of MK2.5 billion of donor money meant for HIV and Aids fight in the Ministry of Health between 2013 and 2015