Malawi diplomat's arrest: Investigations continue

2016-05-25 14:17


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Lilongwe - Police in Malawi have arrested the country's deputy ambassador to Ethiopia for allegedly misappropriating over $400 000.

The arrest came after Malawi conducted an audit at its mission in Addis Ababa, which also caters for the African Union (AU).

The audit revealed that $406 206.15 was misappropriated from public coffers and allegedly deposited into personal accounts of some staff.

Malawi Police Service spokesperson Nicholas Gondwa told News24 that the investigations into the scam were continuing and others could be arrested later.

“The diplomat who has been interdicted, is in police custody on allegations of embezzling public funds. Investigations are continuing,” he said.

Prior to her posting to Ethiopia in 2013, Kapanga was serving as deputy inspector of police.

Foreign Affairs Minister Francis Kasaila said it was regrettable that senior diplomats were involved in well-crafted massive fraudulent-activities at the mission.

“Top diplomats represent the president and the country abroad. They are the face of Malawi. If they engage in corrupt activities they dent the image of the country,” he said.

According to Kasaila, the arrested diplomats remained innocent till proven guilty by the courts of law.

Rampant corruption

Despite Malawi President Peter Mutharika's promises to fight corruption, the southern African nation was under pressure from its major donors that it was not doing enough to fight the "scourge".

The criticisms dated back to two years ago when Malawi was rocked by its biggest government corruption scandal in history that saw the systematic looting of $32 million from public coffers by civil servants, private contractors and politicians.

The University of Malawi’s political scientist Blessings Chinsinga recently pointed out that: “… efforts to root out corruption do not stick because the existing institutional milieu makes it almost impossible to introduce changes that can effectively stamp out corruption.”

Just last year a data analysis report carried released by PricewaterhouseCoopers to investigate financial transactions by the government in Malawi from 2009 to 2014 showed that $1.4 billion could not be accounted for during the period.  
Read more on:    malawi  |  fraud  |  southern africa

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