Malawi promises forensic audit of state corruption as donors freeze funds

2014-01-16 08:26

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Blantyre – Malawi President Joyce Banda, under pressure from foreign aid donors and facing a tough re-election battle, has promised a forensic audit of suspected government corruption over the past decade.

Banda said the audit, backed by Britain and the European Union, would help reveal the extent of corruption in the impoverished southern African state.

“The forensic audit will be backdated to 2005 ... we need to know where we are coming from so that we can forgive each other,” said Banda yesterday.

“It’s not war.”

The probe was prompted by the unveiling of a massive corruption scandal last year, implicating top government officials.

As a result, Banda sacked her entire cabinet, jettisoning top ministers and 30 civil servants and politicians from her ruling party will go on trial next month.

Last year, the European Union said it would not release €29 million euros (about R430 million) in scheduled financing to the aid-dependent nation until the government deals with the fraud.

Banda, who became president in 2012, once said about 30% of the country’s resources were plundered or lost to fraud.

Last week she admitted that she took a “political risk” in launching a major fight against corruption ahead of elections on May 20.

The probe is expected to take about six months to conclude.

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