• August 14, 2022 11:08 am

Shameful revelation of how DPP turned this country a cash cow

Aug 6, 2022

…Embassies engaged contractors to clean pavements

The abuse of public funds in our embassies reached at a shameful pick during the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) regime. 

Money were being shared and abused like tomatoes in embassies through dubious engagement and over charging of contracts. 

According to the report which Public Accounts Committee Chairperson Mark Bottoman presented in Parliament,  the Malawi office in UK spent millions of scares tax payers money just to trim hedges. 

As that was not enough,  the Embassy officials hired contractors just to clean the flower beds a job which  just an embassy gardener can do. 

DPP is well known in abuse of public funds and what these people have been doing in embassies is a clear testimony regarding their behavior. 

In the same vein the officials swindled Millions of Government resources in engaging contractor to clean pavements,  remove trees and cut hedges. 

Bottoman told the House that some of the things “these people were doing were really questionable.

“Apart from the Kenya case, an audit of Malawi Embassy Mission in London covering the years from 2014 to 2016 which was completed in December, 2016, revealed that the Mission engaged a contractor to cut and remove trees, trim hedges, dig flower beds in front and back, clean the pavements and skip hire at the Official Residence (Kwacha House) in June, 2014 at a cost of GBP 970.00 without a formal contract,” said Bottoman.

Meanwhile, PAC has submitted the investigative financial report which details on how embassies and other foreign missions abused public funds. 

Bottoman while submitting the report said there is need for law enforcement agencies to ensure the abusers are brought to book.

The PAC chair said all controlling Officers, in this particular case the Heads of Missions,and all the other relevant Diplomats in the embassies should abide by the stipulations in legal framework or else be arrested.

“The Committee noted, in general, that the abuse by the Diplomats needed to be addressed by the concerned heads of missions and not by the Secretary for Foreign Affairs.

It is in that regard that the Committee resolved that during its subsequent meetings on matters related to audit queries for embassies, the concerned Heads of Missions will be summoned to respond to the queries on their own and not just send responses to the Secretary for Foreign Affairs,” said Bottoman.

He stressed that there is also need for the concerned heads to vigilantly play their respective roles in ensuring that the country really ‘drains the swamp and clears the rubble.”

The Committee further called upon law enforcement agencies to act and arrest the culprits within thirty days.

“It is the belief of the Committee that the Secretary to the President and Cabinet, the Secretary to the Treasury, the Secretary for Foreign Affairs will do their job as stipulated in the law,” he said. 

According to the report, the committee established that there had been some obvious violations of the legal instruments as well as procedures that govern the management of public financial resources. 

The Committee singled out major shortfalls such as transfer, expenditure and payment of funds without following laid down 
procedures; breach of contractual obligations; and wasteful and over-expenditure of public resources.

The Committee also noted that there has been lack of effective internal financial control systems; abuse of visa funds and passport fees; under-contribution to utility bills against agreed modalities; and misuse of funds.

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