Cash-strapped Malawi pays SADC K1 billion membership dues

Malawi’s  cash-strapped Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) government, in the absence of donor support and a weak revenue base, has honoured its commitment to the Southern Africa development Community by paying close to US$2 million (MK1billion) in outstanding membership dues.

Minister of Foreign Affairs George Chaponda; Leads Malawi delegatio n at SADC summit

Minister of Foreign Affairs George Chaponda; Leads Malawi delegatio n at SADC summit

The amount, paid on Tuesday, is 0.1% is of Malawi’s MK930 billion 2015/16 national budget.

Nyasa Times has in possession a document that proves the payment.

In the infamous Cashgate scandal, an estimated $20- to $100-million went missing from government funds through a systemic scheme by public servants and fictitious companies where monies where paid out for gods and services not rendered or delivered.

As a result of Cashgate, foreign donors put on hold $150-million for the 2013-14 fiscal year. An estimated 40% of Malawi’s annual budget is donor-funded.

And Minister of foreign Affairs and International Cooperation George Chaponda also confirmed during a news conference at the Gaborone International Convention Centre that Malawi has settled its obligations to SADC.

“What is important is that we have paid what has accumulated in years,” said Chaponda and evading the question of how long the ‘debt’ had been outstanding.

Article 26 of the SADC Treaty stipulate that SADC’s funds shall consists of contributions of members states, income from SADC enterprises and receipts from regional and non-regional sources.

International media on Monday reported that Malawi’s financial crisis had indirectly persuaded President Peter Mutharika to stay at home, because Malawi had failed to pay its contribution of almost $2 million on time, but promised that the money would reach the SADC secretariat by the end of summit on Tuesday.

“That’s not true. The President failed to come because of pressing issues at home and he personally communicated that to the SADC leadership,” Chaponda said.

But Chaponda conceded that Malawi was “passing through a difficult period”.

Mutharika has repeatedly said the decision to cut aid to his impoverished southern African nation has contributed to “economic hardships”.

The country suffered another blow earlier this year when severe floods left more than 170 people dead and 200,000 homeless, as well as severely damaging infrastructure. Malawi is seeking $80 million from donors for reconstruction.

In February Mutharika pleaded with the World Bank for more aid, saying his country was in “desperate need of donor support”.

Donors have said the aid will only be restored when the government implements sound financial management systems to seal loopholes that enabled civil servants to collude with business figures and politicians to steal state funds.

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18 thoughts on “Cash-strapped Malawi pays SADC K1 billion membership dues”

  1. Denny says:

    What is the accounting for the proceeds of the sale of the Malawi Savings Bank? And in such a situation, why would someone be dreaming of building a Banquent Hall, really? When shall we learn to leave by the rule of law and respect government funds – as funds for the nation and not for persons in political offices nor for those in the civil service? Perhaps we can only learn when the donors put a grip on their purse instead of pouring money into a pocket with holes.

  2. not myname says:

    You DPP {DEVIL PATRIOTIC PARTY}follow quickly what donors instructed don’t you see people are going below from what they were before 49ys ago’s poverty line

  3. some commentators are fools. Why are we sometimes fool?
    I think its becouse we speak without reason to. Not everyone should comment guys better listen and see how and who is commenting why still observing why one comments. Where are you commenting at also is important…..
    Search Me

  4. nyg says:

    Govt Has Done Right. Remember That Even The Most Economically Challenged Family Has To Settle Bills Lyk: Xul Fees,fud Costs,etc. SADC helps malawi in funding some projects. If GOD kps his obligation to save some ppo even though everyone is a sinner,then wat abt govt fulfilling obligations 2 SADC? Analyse issues critically. whether it wz udf,mcp,pp,aford they wud’ve done da same!

  5. elias banda says:

    no co

  6. Gu says:

    The much publicised reforms can do us good economically if done especially to reduce PSs.

  7. Mpumulo wa Bata wayandikila says:

    Misplaced priorities!!!!

  8. Dwambazi says:

    Yes, the new health minister is a British Citizen. He is not a Malawian coz Malawi does not have dual citizenship.

  9. anadimba says:

    pajanso aPresident ndi aku USA.mwaiwala za greencard abale?dzikoli likutsogoleredwa ndi ma foreigners .Amalawi kuputsa.kungochokera kunjako kudzafikila pwevupwevu. Koma ndiye Pitala watipezerera.

  10. angoni says:

    Is this included in the budget kapena ndi za msb zija zayamba kutafunidwa without approval?

  11. Kizito says:

    I think its not a right idea, currently we r going through hard time with insuficient food,lack of medicines,poor security etc then why not using that big figure to alleviate some of the sufferings.

  12. Kizito says:

    I think its not a right idea, currently we r going through hard time with insuficient food,lack of medicines,poor security etc then why not using that big figure to alleviate some of the sufferings?

  13. Jwa Kuganda says:

    Journalists most of the time contribute to bad governance by the way they report stories: Malawi is NOT cash strapped. Malawi is suffering from mis-allocation of resources – this is a perennial Malawian problem.

    If you consider how the executive and the legislature conduct themselves on a daily basis you would think that you were in an oil rich gulf emirate. There may be ‘no money’ for drugs and food in public hospitals or for opening of public university colleges – but if parliament was to be opened next week you can be sure that the hefty allowances would miraculously be paid in advance. And as for the presidency, the less said the better…

  14. paulos banda says:

    Ndalama za MSB sale zayamba kugwira ntchito. Koma dzulo amati sazigwiratu. Koma agalu awa.

  15. dadaboma says:

    Govt should not have paid this money because
    1. Malawi has no money to pay for such luxuries at the moment; it could have waited
    2.Parliament already approved a budget that made no provision for this expenditure
    3.Govt could have postponed this as it has with civil service salary increments and should have first looked at the plight of its public workers
    On the same note, why is the DPP Govt subjecting us Malawians to economic problems that are totally avoidable? Govt needs to listen to what the donors are demanding. What donors are asking for is in our best interest as a nation, i.e. put in place sound financial management system to seal loopholes for theft. Is this an outrageous demand? Is it impossible? Govt must do this as a matter of necessity and urgency. This will not only win donor support; it will also, and more importantly, secure our finances. Why is this DPP govt resisting to implement this simple but life-saving requirement? Nonse amene munavotera DPP ndinu mbuzi, galu, stupid people.

  16. Bob says:

    Its a good idea to and maintain SADC membership.

  17. Charombanthu says:

    Is this an extra budgetary item? Are our MPs aware about it or are they just reading about it in the press just like me? How many years’ arrears is this amount? Dr Chaponda, please advise the nation…

  18. mine says:

    What is it we hear that the new health minister has dual citizenship? What is the job of nib then? Do they do due diligence on those appointed? Isn’t he threat to national security?

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