Malawi President Prof. Arthur Peter Mutharika has noted calls from some media houses, individuals and organisations asking him to fire what the media houses, individuals and organisations are calling ‘‘seven senior cabinet ministers named in the MK577bn forensic audit report’’.
In a press statement made available to Malawi Brief, the President highly appreciates the need and the right for all Malawians to know the individuals, organisations or companies whose names have allegedly been mentioned in connection to the alleged misappropriation of public funds which are being queried in the 2009-2014 forensic audit report.
Mutharika says too, is anxiously waiting for the names of such individuals and organisations, so that necessary investigations and corrective measures can be taken.
However, the President is concerned that while we are all waiting for the Auditor General and other responsible state institutions to procedurally process and prepare the contents of the audit report for public dissemination and subsequent investigative processes, some individuals and media houses have chosen to hijack the audit reporting process so as to misinform Malawians on issues surrounding the audit.
It is information in public domain that the Auditor General has revised downwards the audit query amount from MK577bn to approximately MK 236bn. Therefore, it is important that the media should report this fact as it is as opposed to clinging to untrue figures and thereby being unnecessarily sensational.
On calls for the President to fire the so called ‘‘seven senior Cabinet Ministers named in the audit’’, the fact of the matter is that the Auditor General, following a legal opinion from the Attorney General, has not released names of individuals or organisations allegedly connected to the MK236 billion forensic audit query to any individual or organisation. Consequently, in the absence of this information from the Auditor General, the issue of names of seven Cabinet Ministers or any Cabinet Minister allegedly being implicated in the audit does not arise.
It is, therefore, pure misinformation and lack of sincerity for some individuals and media houses to be accusing the President of not acting on some ministers allegedly implicated in the MK236 forensic audit when information on the individuals and the alleged implication is not available. The President should not be expected to make policy decisions based on rumours or speculation.
Any individual or institution purporting to have names of individuals or organisations allegedly implicated in the MK236 forensic audit should come forward and provide the names with the necessary evidence rather than engaging in unhelpful rumour mongering and making unreasoned demands.
In same vein, innuendos by some politically partisan comedians that the President is shielding some so called ‘‘seven senior Cabinet Ministers’’ should be dismissed with the contempt they deserve. Such comedians should be reminded that running government is serious business for serious persons and that, it, is not comedy.
In conclusion, the President would like to reiterate that he is equally waiting for the Auditor General and responsible state agencies to finalise legal processes necessary for the release of the results of the 2009-2014 forensic audit so that necessary investigations and corrective measures can be taken.