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AG for IMF ‘false accounts’ probe

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By Matthews Kasanda

Attorney General Thabo Chakaka Nyirenda yesterday ordered investigations into allegations that some government officers presented false accounting information to World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) officials between 2017 and 2020.

Chakaka Nyirenda made the remarks in Lilongwe on Monday during a newly introduced weekly press briefing called ‘Government Faces The Press’, at which he was accompanied by Information Minister Gospel Kazako.

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He said officers found in the wrong would face criminal charges because the act had brought some negative economic effects to the country.

Reports indicate that, under the Democratic Progressive Party regime, the government, between 2017 and 2020, was allegedly fabricating figures, thereby misreporting Malawi’s foreign exchange position to portray that the country was performing well economically.

Chakaka Nyirenda said what happened was an offence and listed in the Penal Code as ‘Forging False Accounting’ whose punishment is a sentence of 14 years imprisonment.

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“I think some of the miseries we are facing as a result of withholding certain aid, grants or donations are because we lied to the International Monetary Fund,” he said.

Recently, Leader of the House in Parliament Richard Chimwendo Banda indicated that former governor of the Reserve Bank of Malawi and the Minister of Finance would be investigated for the act.

The government principal adviser has since warned that his office would make sure that any public officer who committed a crime that led to the government losing money should not only be prosecuted but also pay back to Malawians or risk losing their property through forfeiture.

He said Parliament had recently given him the mandate to recover wealth that was acquired illegally.

However, Kazako clarified that “no property acquired legally will be taken away from any person”.

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