State House not yet audited


National Audit Office (Nao) is yet to get permission to conduct a head count at State residences in a bid to flush out ghost workers.

Parliamentarians and other commentators have for long expressed worry that lack of openness may be facilitating misuse of public resources at State residences.

In response to a questionnaire, Nao publicist, Rabson Kagwamminga, said his office already contacted State House on the issue.


“We are just waiting for them to come back to us so that we can commence the audit. We have also sent them reminders in that regard,” Kagwamminga said.

Two months ago, a parliamentary cluster committee pressed Auditor General, Stevenson Kamphasa, on why his office failed to make a head count at State residences where, the members of Parliament alleged, there were ghost workers.

The government did the head count in all government ministries and departments nine months ago and at least 1, 000 workers were flushed out.


Kagwamminga said State House advised Nao that the State House would communicate when ready.

“It is important to note that the positive response is already there. But perhaps due to some pressing engagements on their part, they have not yet been able to find space to accommodate our programme,” Kagwamminga said.

He, therefore, said the exercise is not delaying because of Nao.

“But like any other institution where security is paramount, there is need for thorough corroboration between the two offices before the exercise can commence.

“There is need to ensure that all security details on both parties are in place to avoid mishandling of classified and confidential information. This is very much in line with Section 25 of the Public Audit Act which calls for confidentiality in handling public information,” he said.

He said some of the delays may border on the need to fulfill these requirements.

“You may wish to note that when we had a similar exercise at NIB (National Intelligence Bureau) and MDF (Malawi Defense Force), thorough consultations with the entities had to be made and clear modalities developed before commencement of the audit to ensure that the exercise does not compromise the security of the institutions and the nation.

“We are doing likewise with State residences and the only challenge is their delays to come back to us,” Kagwamminga said.

State House spokesperson, Mgeme Kalilani, asked for time to get information from Director of State Residences, Peter Mukhito.

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