The National Audit Office (Nao) has finalised probing 37 case files of companies and individuals who are suspected to have stolen K236 billion between 2009 and 2013, Malawi News can reveal.
According to diplomatic sources in Lilongwe, the files that have been completed implicate some high profile individuals in the private sector and government.
“We are aware that the National Audit office (Nao) has completed 37 files they have been probing on the remaining K236 billion mismatch between cashbook and bank statements,” said the source, who chose to remain anonymous.
Last year, Nao released about 13 case files of individuals that were named in the forensic audit report, which revealed that K236 billion was allegedly stolen from the government’s purse. The Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) is expected to prosecute about 45 file cases of individuals and companies named in the looting of public resources.
Last year, ACB cleared five names of wrongdoing in the K236 billion Cashgate that took place between 2009 and 2013.
The Bureau is on record to have said that it was waiting for the Auditor General to hand over 37 more files.
In an email response, Auditor General Public Relations Officer Rabson Kagwamminga told Malawi News that his office has been working on the files and have made substantial progress.
“You may wish to note that we have made substantial progress on the work so much so that we hope to conclude the assignment by the end of this month or February 2018. Once concluded, the report will come out to the public through our normal reporting channels as stipulated in the Public Audit Act (2003),” Kagwamminga said.
But he was quick to say that the probe into the remaining K236 billion mismatch between cashbook and bank statements is still under way.
“As such, it would not be inappropriate for us to talk about it at this point. This is in line with the provisions of the Public Audit Act (2003) and the standards of our profession,” he said.
He said investigative audits, by their nature, are usually time consuming, because they require the rigorous process of gathering information for credible evidence and in the process, the involvement of a lot of players hence the perceived delays.
Commenting on the developments, chairperson of the Public Accounts Committee Alekeni Menyani has said his committe has been waiting for the files for too long.
“My committee has been eagerly waiting for the Auditor General to complete the 37 files;
it has been long overdue…all those who stole public money should be prosecuted, ”Menyani said.