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Minister for tourism department’s audit

USI—We want to protect public funds

Willy Kambwandira

Minister of Tourism, Wildlife and Culture Michael Usi has ordered that there should be forensic audits in government agencies and departments under his ministry.

He said this on the sidelines of a graduation ceremony at Malawi Institute of Tourism in Blantyre.

Usi said the country is marred with reports of corruption, and to avoid unfounded allegations and speculations, there is a need for audits.

He cited the Malawi Gaming Board, which falls under his jurisdiction, where some misuse of public funds was noted, leading to suspension of some people.

“This will also assure us that we are relevant to the cause by adhering to principles of accounting and good governance. Therefore, for all that to be effectively achieved, we need to have evidence by way of asking professionals to conduct such tasks,” he said.

However, Usi did not come out clearly on the period for the audit and dissemination of the findings.

Centre for Social Accountability and Transparency Executive Director Willy Kambwandira applauded the minister for the drive.

He, however, lamented that, under normal circumstances, it should not have taken the minister to call for the audit as government entities are expected to be doing it periodically.

“If we want to protect public funds from abuse, this is the way to go but this should be happening automatically and the government needs to empower offices such as that of the Auditor General, which is not ticking as expected,” he said.

In the event of the Malawi Gaming Board, following allegations of impropriety and fraud regarding the operations of an account at FDH Bank not known to the current Chief Executive Officer and the board, an audit was instituted.

The audit highlighted several issues of financial irregularities, mostly to do with staff benefits and other unjustified personal payments.

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