Government spent K3 million on Joyce Banda Foundation
The Malawi High Commission in South Africa paid K3 million on behalf of former president Joyce Banda’s foundation, a parliamentary hearing revealed yesterday
Officials disclosed that the payment was made on a consignment of school uniforms for Joyce Banda Foundation
The alleged abuse was revealed by Ministry of Foreign Affairs officials who appeared before the Public Accounts Committee of Parliament (Pac) to respond to queries from the Auditor General’s report for the year ending June 30 2014.
During the discussions, it emerged that the then Malawian high commissioner to South Africa, Stella Ndau, decided on her own to use the mission’s funds to procure the berets for Joyce Banda Foundation.
Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Isaac Munlo, said Ndau made the procurement on her own.
“The then high commissioner decided upon herself to use the mission funds to procure the berets for the foundation without the foundation even knowing about this transaction,” he told the committee
The committee’s Chairperson, Alekeni Menyani, wondered why the ministry has not taken any appropriate measures to recover the money.
“This is just a tip of an iceberg in terms of how much money is being misappropriated in these missions, to an extent that the head of mission used public funds to procure the uniforms.
“There is also an issue of an officer who, after being recalled, destroyed documents and we have called for a disciplinary action on the person and that the K3 million should be given back to Malawians because the school is not a government agency,” Menyani said.
Joyce Banda Foundation Director, Roy Kachale, who is also a Member of Parliament and son to the former president, said he has no knowledge about the procurement.
“I don’t recall having received berets…; however, K3 million is within our means. They should show me relevant documents to show that we ordered and we shall pay,” he said.
He said berets do not form part of the school’s uniforms.
Munlo, in response to the committee’s questions, admitted that the High Commission in South Africa purchased the uniforms for the foundation.
He said the ministry has since written the former high commissioner who authorised the transaction to explain why she purchased the uniforms.
Ndau is currently lecturing at the University of Malawi’s Chancellor College.
The committee gave the ministry up to January 31 2018 to get back to the committee with concrete feedback that the money has been returned.
A vibrant writer who gives a great insight on hot topics and issues