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Parliament queries Mec over K962 million

Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee (Pac) on Wednesday told the Malawi Electoral Commission (Mec) to bring forward documentary evidence on how K962 million was used to buy fixed assets between 2007 and 2008.

Pac Chairman Alekeni Menyani told Mec’s Deputy Chief Elections Officer Harris Potani that Pac was concerned that despite the Auditor General’s report, the commission never addressed the issue of missing supporting documents for the use of K962, 270, 180 which was for the purchase of fixed assets.

“We are very disappointed with the dismal performance your team has shown. This committee wants to leave a legacy after it’s gone, we do not want to do business as usual but we want to work for Malawians, this is why we want controlling officers not to be complacent,” Menyani said.

He accused Mec of always being in the media for wrongdoing, saying the commission should learn to be exemplary.

This was after Potani, who was accompanied by Director of Finance at Mec, Khumbo Phiri, said the money did not go missing but only that the officer who was assigned to record all government-owned assets, erroneously included assets which were bought by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

“The officer did not distinguish items procured by UNDP and the government. He included items which were bought by UNDP whose supporting documents are with the UNDP,” Potani said.

He said his office had tried all it can to get hold of the documents and UNDP had not yet released them as of yesterday when the Mec team appeared before Pac.

He also said his office has now hired an asset manager to ensure that all issues of assets are handled professionally.

However, Vice Chairman of Pac Kamlepo Kalua took Potani to task as to why Mec assigned an incompetent person to record the fixed assets and why it has taken Mec close to four years after the release of the audit report to get hold of the documents from UNDP.

The committee then unanimously agreed to send back the two-man Mec team and come back when the supporting documents are ready.

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