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Audit exposes financial mess at athletics association

QUERIED—Chitembeya

QUERIED—Chitembeya (left) and athletes

An internal audit by Malawi National Council of Sports (MNCS) has exposed financial mismanagement at Athletics Association of Malawi (AAM) which revealed that over K50 million was uncounted for from 2017 to 2018.

The report which Malawi News has in possession, revealed the athletics body failed to provide documents for their expenditure in the years in question.

According to an audit report, a total of K32,216,300 was unaccounted for in 2017.

“The supporting documents presented for audit review for the year 2017 gave a total of K1,160,400 giving a percentage of only 3.4 % of the total expenditure incurred by the association. In view of this review, K32,217, 300 was not accounted for. Expenditure incurred between January to May 2018 was K18,700,00 excluding interest and bank commissions and no supporting documents were presented for audit,” reads part of the report.

“A total expenditure of K50,916,300 for the period January to December 2017 and January to May 2018 was not supported by any documentation.”

In addition, the report indicated that the association does not maintain a record of its income.

“A review of the transactions from the statement (name of bank withheld) the association for the 2017 indicated total credits of MK 33, 621, 135.89 out of this amount K29, 513, 915 was received from International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) as a grant. The total credits exclude interest received for the period of reviewed,” reads part of the report.

The report has also made several recommendations for the association.

“The executive committee should always ensure that all income has all the relevant supporting documents and is accounted for according to the donour or agent regulations. The committee should ensure that every payment has adequate and valid supporting documentation and should also ensure proper accountability of every payment,” the report added.

The report also indicated that there was no budget for

the championship which the association hosted during the years in question. For instance, the report states that the association hosted National Cross Country Championship at Dedza Golf Club in February 2017 but there was no budget and no record of registration of participants.

“Absence of the adequate budget and reports for athletics events may make it not possible to verify the occurrence of the events,” reads the report.

Between January to December 2017, the association members made some withdraws on behalf of the association. The members of the committee who made the withdraws during the period were Irene Luka, John Andson Mwathiwa, Christopher Kabwazi, Emmanuel Mlonya, Frank Chitembeya, Godfrey Phiri, S. Suzumile and Eston Kaputeni.

In 2018, between January to May, the association withdrew a total of K18,700,000. On January 31, 2018, Chitembeya withdrew K1 million under cheque number 1165 before making other withdraws on February 1, 2018 of K2, 350,000 (1128) and K2, 300, 000 (1127) on the same day.

On the day, G. Phiri withdrew K2, 300,000 (1126) whereas unidentified person also withdrew K750, 000 using cheque number 1129. On February 8, 2018 Chitembeya also withdrew K1,390,000 using cheque number 1132. The association made payment of K1,540, 000 to unidentified person as an outward cheque.

However, AAM General Secretary, Chitembeya said the report was not a true reflection of the expenditure of the association.

“As you know we do not have a physical address and the documents are scattered with officials so it is not easy for us to assemble the documents. Government should support us so that we should have a physical address to improve on record keeping of the association,” Chitembeya said.

According to Chitembeya some of the money was used to pay loan sharks during 2017 and 2018.

When contacted yesterday, MNCS Acting Executive Secretary, Henry Mereka refused to comment on the matter.

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