Ever since the Public Accounts Committee (Pac) of Parliament started scrutinising audit reports for government’s ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs), the story that has come out has been about unexplained expenditures of huge amounts of money.
Almost all the MDAs have failed to come out clean, a thing that clearly shows that there is massive financial imprudence in our MDAs. The most irritating thing is that despite all the revelations of mismanagement of public funds in MDAs, no one has been held accountable. The excuses that have been given by controlling officers have been laughable and bordering on nonchalance. All they have done, so far, is to make some unconvincing apologies.
Take, for instance, what happened at the Ministry of Health where it is said that expenses for items amounting to K132 million were charged to a wrong account code without Treasury’s approval. To justify this massive blunder, all the principal secretary in the ministry could do was to blame recordkeeping system. And it ends there.
The unaccounted for money that has obviously gone into some people’s pockets might seem small but when you think of what that money could have done is when one can appreciate how much this country is losing out to carelessness or crooked schemes of people we have entrusted to control our resources.
Not long ago, we carried a story about the pathetic situation of hospitals in the country. The terrible condition of public institutions in the country is something that every sane Malawian must feel bad about, yet there are some people who do not even care and are more than willing to enrich themselves at the expense of the nation’s good.
We are of the view that the whole exercise by Pac is just another expensive fruitless venture if those who failed to perform their duties which led to loss of public resources are not held accountable.
As a nation, we have lost too much and we cannot afford to continue losing more before sealing all the leakages.