Come Friday next week, the rights campaigners and concerned citizens would hit the streets to hold protests against the controversial recapitalisation of state-owned Malawi Savings Bank (MSB).
The activist will also present a petition to Speaker of Parliament Richard Msowoya so that lawmakers should be pressurising government to make sure loan defaulters pay up their dues and not tax payers bail them out.
One of the organisers, Billy Mayaya, said they have informed police about the peaceful demonstrations.
“We are aware that politicians and businessmen have been using the bank to siphon billions of kwacha. We will not allow hard earned taxpayers money to be used to write off toxic assets,” Mayaya told Nyasa Times on Friday in an interview.
Government has come under intense criticism for injecting K6 billion into MSB to clear off toxic assets instead of simply asking those that owe the bank to repay their loans.
“We demand that these defaulters’ properties and assets be seized,” Mayaya said.
“Ordinary people who default on loans are punished severely so why crooks with political connections should be allowed to go scot free? It will not happen on our watch,” said the rights campaigner.
He continued: “We demand transparency and accountability at all costs. This is just a new chapter in the cashgate saga. Malawians are tired of this empty rhetoric about austerity and zero tolerance about corruption. We demand action and we demand it now.”
One of the social commentators and writer Stanley Onjezani Kenani also took to Facebook to back the protests.
“What the Mutharika government has done — settling Mulli’s loans of K5 billion — is criminal. Mutharika must step down. I am happy to hear there will be demonstrations,” he wrote.
Consumers Association of Malawi (Cama) have also hit at Capital Hill for apparently absorbing the bank’s loans obtained by companies which are still in business and have not been declared bankrupt.
Major on the list of the toxic loans, which government has taken over, is the Mulli Brothers Limited (MBL) loan, which stands at K4 969 043 316.93.
A report issued by the Budget and Finance Committee of Parliament on MSB’s recapitalisation largely blamed government for failing to support the bank’s initiatives to collect the money from Mulli.
Other defaulters included Varibo Spirits—owned by Duncan Kaonga—at K397 763 522.07, KJ Transways owned by a Mr Mkumba has a K172 536 106.23 loan that has not been serviced, Ganizani Transport owned by Charles Fungula owes the bank K97 908 785.35.
MSB is owed K83 960 954.29 by Maranatha Institute of Education of Ernest Kaonga, K71 220 602.47 from Consolidated Building Contractors owned by Peter Mhone, K69 776 370.81 from CK Construction of Chester Makuwira.
The bank is also failing to collect K68 034 537.28 from Fincoop, K65 910 536.30 from K’s Investments owned by Bintony Kutsaira, K30 717 180.76 from MGI Trading of Macpharen Mpeta Phiri, K27 179 448.51 of Injena Petroleum Limited, K20 722 510.70 of Angel Wings owned by Angel Chaponda Nazombe and K12 782 074.13 of Eranive Trading for Fanny Joshua.
Government has sai it will set up a debt collection entity that will recover the loans.
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