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Germany agitates K577 billion probe

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German Embassy said Tuesday that it is concerned about the breadth and depth of corruption revealed by the K577 billion Cashgate report which Auditor General said the figure has been trimmed to K236 billion.

Deputy Head of Mission at the Embassy, Thomas Staiger, said in an interview on Tuesday that Germany wanted thorough probe in the fraud.

“Since we are not involved in the investigation, we are not in a position to comment on ongoing procedures. However, we remain concerned by the breadth and depth of corruption revealed by the current audit work,” said Staiger.

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Staiger asked government to step up efforts to bring to justice those involved in the plunder of public resources.

“We welcome President [Peter] Mutharika’s commitment to zero-tolerance on corruption, and we trust the Malawian authorities will step up their efforts to bring those responsible for defrauding the Malawian people to justice,” he said.

He was speaking in an email response to our enquiry as to whether the embassy was the author of a press release circulating on social media which is giving 13 names of companies alleging that they are implicated in the Cashgate report.

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“The quoted press release has not been issued by the German Embassy,” he said.

“The mentioned audit was led and management [managed] by the National Audit Office [Nao], supported jointly by a consortium of Development Partners (EU Delegation, Germany, Ireland, Norway, United Kingdom) assisting the Government of Malawi in its public financial and economic management reform efforts. Nao has submitted findings from the audit to the respective authorities in line with the Public Audit Act,” said Staiger.

Last month, Auditor General Stevenson Kamphasa said there was no money to finish the K236 billion audit. But he said a donor showed interest to help.

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