Malawi’s former Ambassador to Ethiopia, Chimango Chirwa, is currently testifying in a case in which former deputy ambassador to Ethiopia, Doreen Kapanga, and former first secretary for administration and finance, Fletcher Chowe, are accused of siphoning US$406,246.15 from Malawi Embassy in Ethiopia.
Chirwa has told the Lilongwe Chief Resident Magistrate Court that Chowe instructed the Accountant at the embassy to issue a cheque of $31,000 in his name.
He says when he inquired from Chowe what the cheque was about, he started apologising.
According to Chirwa, Chowe could not even mention the reasons behind the cheque, even after being summoned to a meeting.
Chirwa says the cheque was signed by Doreen Kapanga despite her being no longer in office and that she was finalising her return to Malawi in March 2016.
Chirwa says he reported the matter to the then Secretary of Foreign Affairs, Dalitso Kabambe, who recommended the immediate suspension of Chowe.
Chirwa says in his report to Kabambe, Chowe indicated that the cheque was written by error and that he wanted to write a cheque to suppliers for an amount of 3100 Ethiopian Currency, the Birr and that he was in the process of correcting the same.
According to Chirwa, this was followed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs sending a team of forensic auditors to the Ethiopia Embassy.