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Capital Hill loot hits K371 million

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Willy Kambwandira

The amount of money suspected to have been siphoned at the Accountant General (AG)’s office has jumped from K283 million to K371 million, according to State prosecutors.

The revelations were made as four more officers were arrested at the AG’s office on Thursday, July 14 2022, in connection with the alleged mass fraud that has been uncovered by fiscal police at the AG’s office.

The four officers are Senifa Mfune, Taonga Nkhoma, Edwin Chatsalira and Ernest Mandawala.

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The arrests brought a total number of public officers arrested in connection to the alleged fraud at the AG’s office to 14.

Meanwhile, the State has said the crackdown at the AG’s office will continue.

Malawi Police Service deputy spokesperson Harry Namwaza confirmed that four more people were arrested.

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“I can confirm that fiscal police arrested the four but this is an ongoing matter at the Accountant General Department,” Namwaza said.

The four briefly appeared before Lilongwe Senior Resident Magistrate Nyirenda on Friday, July 15, to formally get charged with the offence but the magistrate court adjourned the matter to today.

Last week, during the bail application hearing for other accountants, State Prosecutor Isaac Kadawayula told the court the matter is still under investigation.

“The matter is still under investigation and it has attracted public interest. If the accused are released on bail, they may compromise our investigations and could interfere with State witnesses,” he said.

The accountants have been arrested on suspicion that they were getting money from government agencies through allowances.

Meanwhile, Centre for Social Accountability and Transparency Executive Director Willy Kambwandira has demanded a forensic audit on the matter to establish the exact figure of money alleged to have been involved.

Times investigations revealed that officers at the AG’s department, including senior officers, were getting more than 40 days of allowances per month.

Commenting on the matter after initial arrests, Treasury spokesperson Taurai Banda said investigations revealed that some members of staff were involved in dubious transactions for personal use.

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