Electoral body warns auditors against distorting information

Malawi Electoral Commission MEC has appealed to auditors and their auxiliaries to maintain their code of conduct and ethics by refraining from divulging distorted information to media.

The commission has said this following yesterday’s story by Nyasa Times whose headline was 1.6 billion kwacha cash gate at Malawi Electoral Commission.

It says the issues raised in the article are subject of a preliminary audit report conducted by Internal Audit Department of the Ministry of Finance.

A statement signed by MEC’s Director of Media and Public Relations Sangwani Mwafulirwa says the preliminary report had not taken into consideration responses by the commission’s management.

“It is unfortunate that somebody has leaked the draft information before its finalization which has led to throwing of wrong and unsubstantiated allegations into the public sphere,” reads the statement.

It says the commission is committed to financial prudence in line with all public regulations and international standards therefore apart from being audited by the auditor general it is being audited by private auditors.

It further says as the issues are work in progress they are not meant for public consumption as there might be changes in the final report.

“The final audit report becomes a public document and it is the one shared with stakeholders,” adds the document.

Sangwani says MEC submitted its responses to the auditors in good time but due to communication breakdown in the Ministry of information, the responses did not reach the auditors in time.

He says “although there is high temptation to reveal the responses now in view of the damage which the leaked preliminary report might cause the commission will restrain itself as doing so will be flouting audit procedures and ethics.”

Sangwani says at the moment the commission is awaiting for a final version of the report which will incorporate its views, responses and explanations.

The commission is therefore optimistic that with the information and evidence availed to the auditors most of the issues that have been thrown into the public array will be dropped.

“To that effect the commission is advising its stakeholders to disregard the information published by Nyasatimes until the final report is issued by the auditors,” says the statement.

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