Sunday, July 1, 2007

Maneb in K3.5 m fraud

Two Malawi National Examinations Board (Maneb) staffs have been implicated in K3.526, 494 fraud that has been taking place at the Board the past three years. Maneb Special Audit Report revealed.

The Special Audit Report that was released on June 5, 2007 implicated several senior officisals in the Examination Department for colluding with Boadzulu Holiday Resort staff in Mangochi to defraud the Board.

The report, which was prepared by Mphatso Mponda, head of Special Audit at Malawi Institute of Management (MIM) assisted by Internal Auditor at Maneb Bernardo Thinison, discovered that Maneb officials have been inflating, colluding to accept inflated invoice, paying inflated bills and profiteering with the Boadzulu manager who has since been fired from the Resort.

For security reasons Maneb identified Boadzulu Lodge, a branch of Alexander Hotels Limited in Mangochi, as a safe place to host its workshops that included training, item-writing, editing and teacher briefing workshop.

“The fraud happened in a form of collusion between Maneb and Boadzulu staff during various workshops at the host’s premises.

“The Board Maneb lost at least K3,526 494 from such collusive fraud system,” read part of the report.

The report said the board in 2004 lost about K866,575, in 2005 the Board lost K389,164, in 2006 the Board lost K423, 670 while in 2007 the Board lost K1,847,085.

The Audit team uncovered a modus operandi where Maneb co-ordinators have been inducing Boadzulu manager to facilitate the malpractice at an attached deal consideration rate over the swindled funds on behalf of Maneb co-ordinators.

The Co-ordinators were also said to have inducing Accounts Officers [at Maneb] to pay for the botched invoices, even without countersigning contravening the Board’s internal control and accounting system.

The report also mentioned other Maneb personnel who knowingly or unknowingly played a role in scam but the charges would not stick because of they were directly involved.

“The audit team identify [names withheld] to be respondents in the primary to the accusations of committing or facilitating the occasion of fraud that led to the loss of at least K3,526,494.

“Second level of responsibility must be directed to the Finance Management Department (FMD) staff who, with their full competence and possessing technical knowledge of irregular invoices, went further to countersign the invoices and effect payment thereon. At times the payment was effected on wholly unsigned for invoices,” concluded the report.

Alexander Hotels Managing Director Alice Makawa admitted the firing of the Boadzulu manager but said she had no details on the reason why he was fired.

Maneb Executive Director Matthews Matemba told Malawi News that the Board commissioned an auditor to audit the institution on Boadzulu allegations but said he has not seen the said audit report.

“Yes we commissioned the audit,” he said.

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