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Opposition MCP questions integrity of disaster audit

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The Malawi Congress Party (MCP) has expressed discontentment over government’s decision to engage the National Audit Office (NAO) to establish how money and other resources meant for disaster relief in January were spent, arguing the institution’s integrity remains questionable.

The Department of Disaster Management of Affairs (DoDMA) engaged NAO three weeks ago to audit 17 districts that were affected by floods earlier this year to account for the resources that were used.

MCP spokesperson Jessie Kabwila said much as the country is anxious to know how the money was spent, NAO’s integrity remains questionable on whether they will work diligently in coming up with a credible and comprehensive report that will satisfy Malawians.

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“Much as MCP welcomes every effort that is being made to come up with an explanation as to what happened, we still doubt whether the body will work without bias. “Already in some areas that were affected by floods, we are getting reports that the victims were not targeted and that the relief items [were] not equally distributed to all affected areas. We need a body that will work with [impartiality] so that their findings are credible enough,” said Kabwila.

The audit coincides with alleged reports of misappropriated money in some of the disaster-stricken districts.

According to DoDMA spokesperson, Jeremiah Mphande, although the department has not received any query about money being misappropriated, the audit is a necessary step in ensuring that there is transparency and accountability.

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“Together with the office of the Vice-President, the department has sought the services of the National Audit Office to carry out the audit to establish how much went into the response and how it was spend,” he said.
He said the audit is the final step in the compilation of a consolidated report which will outline how much was used in disaster response.

Auditor General Stevenson Kamphasa while refusing to divulge details of the audit said the DoDMA asked his office to come up with a tentative audit report on the matter.

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