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PAC engages OPC on Kenya embassy probe

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The Public Accounts Committee of Parliament has sought the help of the Office of the President and Cabinet – OPC on plans to go to Kenya to probe the disappearance of over K500 billion at the Malawi embassy office in that country.
Chairperson of the committee, Alekeni Menyani, has told Malawi News that the committee is ready to go to Kenya to further probe the issue.
“We wrote OPC to ask for funds and we are proceeding with an inquiry this January, all is set, we are just finalizing putting together a team and documentation,” enyani said.
The Chief Secretary to the Government Lloyd Muhara confirmed meeting the Public Accounts Committee on the matter.
“We indeed held discussions with them, they want Treasury to fund a trip for them to go to Kenya on the issue and we agreed, “said Muhara.
Pac is expected to probe how over K500 billion disappeared and the fact that the accounts from which it was withdrawn leave no trails.
Malawi News recently revealed that officers at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs have been conniving with staff at the Malawi High Commission in Kenya to siphon money.
Our investigations had revealed that the withdrawn money came from a special bank account that Government opened in 2005 for its properties when it closed the Malawi mission in Nairobi.
The account was opened at the Equatorial Commercial Bank (ECB) on 25th November 2005 as part of other operating accounts with the bank, prior to its closure.
The properties are the official residence for the High Commissioner and the Chancery which were rented out.
Malawi News investigations showed that although the embassy was closed, the bank accounts were frequently accessed.
A Bank Accounts Analysis showed that the Account Number from where the money was withdrawn is 0400589701, with the name ‘Government of Malawi
Properties Account’, Equatorial Commercial Bank, Hurlingham Branch, and Nairobi, Kenya.
The bank statement for the properties that Malawi News managed to see covers the period from November 2005 to somewhere in December 2012, with total withdrawals of $ 423,112.73(Approx K306,843,467.36) and total credits of $371,813.32 (Approx K269,640,878.73) respectively and had a zero closing balance, meaning all the money was depleted.
Looking at the transactions, as the statement shows, it is clear that the bank account was inactive for many years up until May 2012 when significant amount of money started being paid out in different amounts.
Another statement for account number 0400589705- ‘Government of Malawi ORT Main Account’, at the same bank shows that as at November 15, 2013, withdrawals amounting to 12, 952,598.95 KES (approx. K91, 000,000) were made.
Specific withdrawals ranged from 50, 000 KES to 500, 000 KES.
The bank statement did not show the particulars of the individuals or companies who benefited from the payments.
Another bank statement for account number 0400589702 called ‘Government of Malawi Deposit Account’, shows that in May 2013, the deposit account had two high value figures of 5, 000,000 KES and 6,990,000 KES (approx. K83, 000,000).
Other bank accounts that were looked into are the Visa account number 0400589702 and the Salaries account number 0400589703 which also had some payments made out.
The Malawi diplomatic missions abroad were established to facilitate the promotion of sustainable development, economic growth, tourism and trade competitiveness, and strengthen areas of economic and political cooperation at both bilateral and multilateral levels and maximize the effectiveness of their representation in promoting and attracting direct foreign investments and aid.
The purpose emanates from Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation’s mandate which is to promote the interest of Malawi in foreign countries by formulating, interpreting, implementing and monitoring the Malawi Government’s foreign policy with emphasis on development diplomacy.
However, embassies have turned out to be conduits for siphoning money by those in power.
In April 2016, Malawi News also reported that K184 million had been stolen by staff at the Malawi Embassy in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and the case remains unresolved to this day.

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