Goodall says IMF, World Bank imposed anti-corruption bureau to Malawi: Grilled on BBC why no minister has been charged of ‘cashgate’

Finance Minister Goodall Gondwe told BBC News that governance institutions such as the Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) were imposed by World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF), saying the system ineffectiveness should not be blamed on Malawi.

Gondwe: Quizzed on BBC

Gondwe: Quizzed on BBC

During the interview, BBC’s Ed Butler challenged Gondwe “Why has no minister been charged since Malawi’s Cashgate corruption scandal two years ago?”

Responded Gondwe: “Because we don’t know them.”

Apparently, opposition lawmakers claim a forensic audit report mentions seven ministers implicated in the Cashgate plunder of the national coffers.

Opposition PP legislators, led by Mzimba West MP Harry Mkandawire and  Kamlepo Kalua, led calls  for the names of all suspects to be made public.

In parliament, Mkandawire mentioned Agriculture Minister George Chaponda to have been named in the report.

Chaponda denied any involvement.

But BBC’s Ed Butler said to Gondwe that when “someone is under investigations I think it is reasonable to take him out of office.”

Gondwe said: “But they are not under investigations.”

The Finance Minister argued persuasively: “If they [7 rotten ministers] were actually identified and really proven that these people have been guilty, I can assure you the system will not spare them.”

Malawi President Peter Mutharika has also said he sent the chief secretary George Mkondiwa to the auditor general Stevenson Kamphasa to get the names of the cabinet ministers named in the report but came empty handed.

The BBC journalist quizzed Gondwe on reports that there is ‘political pressure ‘to Anti Corruption Bureau   hence diminishing zeal for fraud prosecutions, which have severely dented the country’s reputation and cost it hundreds of millions of dollars in budget support funds.

He queried Gondwe why Malawi government is not keen on “independent oversight” of ACB.

Gondwe stumbled in his response: “Yes, I think that you have a point there, that the system is such that, and it’s not only in Malawi by the way, it’s true in Kenya, its true in Zambia, and its true everywhere.”

The Finance Minister added: “These institutions were started, by the way, through the influence of World Bank and IMF. They are the people who gave us the legislation.”

In Parliament government rejected a motion moved by Lilongwe South West MP Peter Chakhwantha that an amendment bill be drafted to change Section 5 (1) of the Corrupt Practices Act to provide for appointment of the ACB director and deputy by the Public Appointment Committee (PAC) not the President as it stands now but be based on merit and through an open recruitment process.

However, Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs Samuel Tembenu said ACB belongs to the Executive arm of government and removing the President’s powers to appoint a director would be a “travesty of the doctrine of separation [of power].”

Gondwe, nonetheless, told BBC that if anyone will be fingered in the report of corruption, will face the due process of the law.

“If a very clear evidence suggest that someone was indulging in corruption will not be spared,” said Gondwe.

Major frauds started under Bingu were of a different nature to the Cashgate type that was instituted during President Joyce Banda’s reign. Under Bingu they were of the more typical over-invoicing and over-pricing variety.

Preliminary audits of government finances between 2009 and 2014, carried out by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) and financed by the German government, indicate that at least K577 bn. ($807 mn.) could not be accounted for.

Later, the estimated loss was reduced to K236 bn. ($330 mn.), still a gigantic figure for such a small country, about one third of the government’s annual budget.

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24 thoughts on “Goodall says IMF, World Bank imposed anti-corruption bureau to Malawi: Grilled on BBC why no minister has been charged of ‘cashgate’”

  1. Angel of Doom says:

    This country is in very big trouble.

    The comments on this page have no resemblance to the interview i listened to. in fact I listened to the full version not this cut version.

    People are talking about he said ACB was created by EU and Britain, where did he say that?, he said the ACB was bad, I clearly remember him saying “yes you have a point there….2 what was the point? The point was that the ACB should not be politicised, but it is politicised because the institutions that Funded the start up of the ACB, set it up in such a way that the president was given the power for appointing the director.

    Parliament tried to change that it was defeated. Who defeated it your MPs, not the ministers.

    the part of the interview shown here is only 3 minutes, and you people deduce all what you are commenting?

    At this rate, basing our understanding and our listening powers on whether we like or hate the person will not take this country anywhere.

    A lot of people in Malawi throw the bath water with the baby, and start wondering “where is the baby?”

  2. FKSKS says:

    I always thought Gondwe was one of the good guys, now I realize I was completely wrong, he is one of the rotten people that are stealing out tax money. Who do you trust anymore with your hard earned money, I work everyday to put food on my table and educate the kids and I give the government 30% of everything I earn on top of 16.5% and all the other so called “services”, more than 70% of my salary goes to the government but I am so disappointed by Gondwe’s interview that clearly implicates him, either he was trying to be clever by avoiding the hard questions or he is just pure stupid, either way he came across as a complete loser who doesn’t really know what he is doing and these are the people where 70% of my salary goes.
    The thing is who replaces these people. Since Kamuzu we have had one disaster president after the other, there is no one that seems to know how to run the country in order for the country and people of our country to move forward. We are still last in the list of development, eduction, power and infrastructure. Other countries that used to be poorer than Malawi 30 years ago are now some of the richest countries in the world. With the leaders we have we can’t have moved forward, or more correctly it seems the leaders don’t want the country to move forward lest they loose their jobs as educated people would not to keep the current leadership in power.

  3. Cornwell Dangaya Mulenga says:

    This guy called Goodall Gondwe who is incharge of our Public purse as a finance minister is really a disappointment to the people of Malawi and I dont know who is going to save us.What he said to the BBC that the anti corruption bureau was imposed on Malawi by Eu and Britain is appalling considering that him as a finance minister ,he would be in a better position to understand the importance of ACB as an important institution of governance yet he is even saying its bad to have ACB.
    Seriously speaking who is going to save us from the shame of these old unpatriotic so called Malawian Leaders ? I wonder if these leaders are really Malawians or they are some kind of Renamo guys from Mozambique who have been harassing our fellow citizens .Our country has everything to develop itself and ease the suffering of the common man but we have leadership that has no clue of what must be done ,vision less leaders who have nothing to offer but to steal as if when they die they will take all the luxuries and bank balances to grave while every one is suffering.They should all be ashamed and think if Bingu carried all the money to grave.
    Our president who was elected barely 2 years ago ,instead of concentrating on governing the country to hange its misfortunes as his brother did in 2004-2009 ,he is already focusing on 2019 elections.What a shame ,hope maybe one day we will have a true leader like Magufuli of Tanzania,Uhuru Kenyata of Kenya or Kagame of Rwanda and these other patriotic and developmental cautious presidents .
    As for Lilongwe we have this Useless vision less Mayor who as his party has no clue on how to develop our City as what is being done by our fellow youthful comrade Noel Chalamanda who has done tremendous job to the city of Blantyre. Who is going to save us from this idiotic Mafia kind of Leadership?
    Just thinking

  4. True Patriot says:

    In Malawi there is no way a serving cabinet minister can be charged of corruption, or indeed, any other criminal offence because of the nature of our politics. In the first place, ministers are appointed not because of their capabilities, but as a reward for their patronage and resources they ‘invested’ during the campaign period. The appointing authority, thus, feels indebted to the people he appoints to various positions, and any show of toughness on errant such appointees would be misinterpreted as a sign of ungratefulness on the president’s part and it would be akin to political suicide.

    Honestly, we know that the character of the majority of our cabinet ministers is clearly questionable and wanting, and that they would not survive even a minute in a cabinet in any civilized country. We know, and more importantly the president knows even better, what our honourable ministers have done in the past, or are even still doing! We know of ministers that are involved in deciding or influencing in the awarding of government contracts! We know of ministers that have or are connected to businesses that are always openly preferred to do business with state institutions! We know of ministers who are involved in clandestine and illegal land allocation to the rich, and sadly, even to foreigners! I can go on and on…

    The bottom line is, corruption in high places is very rampant and it is disgusting that our senior government officials think that we are all so daft as not to recognize that, for instance, when a covetous minister allocates himself a tractor that government bought just two years previously to assist poor subsistence farmers and he only pays a fraction of the cost for it, is not only corruption but ‘crime against humanity’! Thousands of Malawians are suffering, or even dying, from starvation because of the actions of that selfish individual!

    Now, we hear that the president wants evidence against the suspected ministers before he can take action against them. From the tone of it, it would appear that the suspected ministers can be rest-assured that they have executive protection and they can snore comfortably in the knowledge that such protection is almost eternally guaranteed. How does our president expect to secure any concrete and reliable evidence, given that the investigating institutions are answerable or get oversight from the same ministries whose ministers are the prime suspects in the investigations?

    Can we for once, imagine a situation where the auditor general is tasked to investigate the minister of finance yet his institution (National Audit Office) has the same ministry as its line ministry? It would be an almost impossible task as, I suppose, it requires the same suspected minister to authorize the investigations, and release the results thereof. I bet even the aging Goodall, with his fast eroding mental prowess could sanction such self-implicating investigations, let alone, results. This is why in established democracies affected people resign to pave way for uninterrupted and objective investigations. Such people have their dignity to protect and not their big berries to satisfy! Of course, that wont happen in Malawi – not any time soon, anyway.

    So Goodall spilled the beans that ACB was forced upon us? Our finance minister is, effectively, saying that given a choice, this government would not have such governance and rights institutions as ACB or Office of the Ombudsman, or MHRC, etc? I wonder what kind of an ideal world our politicians would want to live in. Honestly, even in their weakened state as they currently are, these institutions are still making a difference on our societies. I shudder to imagine how much we would be suffering if these institutions were not there – perhaps it would have been life like it was at the peak of the MCP rule when ‘zonse zinali za Kamuzu!’ The consolation though, is that, ‘no matter how long the night is, daybreak and morning still comes’…

  5. James says:

    Nyasatimes, Goodall Gondwe never said ACB was imposed by IMF and WB, at least I can tell that after reading this article. Correct your heading please.

    And you, Goodall Gondwe, whether ACB was started with the influence of IMF and the WB or not, it does not matter. What matters is that ACB is the best thing that happened to Malawi and that it should be allowed to work independently (not attached to the legislature or/and to the executive arms of the government).

  6. Huwiii Gondweuyo says:

    A Gondwe ngakuba yawo osamataya nawo nthawi.

  7. Central says:

    Chimbava ichi chi Goodal……………………………. Nanga mukunjenjema ndi BBC journalist, mu court ndiye mukalimbaaaaaaaaaaaa a Gondweeeeeeeeeee? I am seeking another cardiac…………!!

  8. VYOTO says:

    GOODALL GONDWE HAS INDEED BECOME OLD AND EXPIRED, HE COULD HAVE PROVIDED BETTER RESPONSE TO BBC ON THE ACB ISSUE.THE ISSUES THAT MALAWI IS FACING TODAY ARE BORDERING OF MISMANAGEMENT OF PUBLIC RESOURCES,FRAUD,THEFT AND CORRUPTION AND SINCE THE TIME OF DR BANDA, MALAWI HAD POLICE SERVICE,LAWS, AUDIT DEPARTMENT,AND SYSTEMS AND PROCEDURES IN PLACE TO FIGHT THEFT,FRAUD AND CORRUPTION.ACB WAS INTRODUCED JUST AS A SUPPLEMENT.BAKILI MULUZI DELIBERATELY WEAKENED SOME OF THE SYSTEMS TO INCREASE THEFT,FRAUD AND CORRUPTION IN GOVERNMENT.

    AT 77 YEARS OLD, PETER MUTHALIKA CANNOT APPRECIATE THE RISK OF HAVING AN OVER AGED MINISTER OF FINANCE.TO PETER MUTHALIKA, JUST BECAUSE GONDWE PERFORMED WONDERS UNDER HIS BROTHER BINGU’S FIRST TERM(2005-2009), THEN HE CAN DO THE SAME NOW, SEVEN YEARS THEREAFTER. PETER WRONGLY THINKS THAT WHATEVER LATE BINGU DID WHETHER IT WAS MISMANAGEMENT OF OUR TAX MONEY, BUTCHERING THE LATE ROBERT CHASOWA IN SEPTEMBER 2011 AND 10 PEOPLE PLUS ON 11TH JULY 2011 WAS VERY GOOD.THE WAY PETER REACTS TO SUCH ISSUES TELLS A STORY AND IT IS ANNOYING.THIS IS THE VERY SAME REASON SOME OF US WERE AGAINST TURNING THE PRESIDENCY INTO A POLITICAL DYNASTY..BUT THOSE MOST ILLITERATE PEOPLE IN THYOLO, MULANJE, CHIRADZULU ARE COSTING US BIG TIME. MY OBSERVATION OF DR CHAKWERA OF MCP IS THAT, HE IS ENERGETIC,ALERT AND VERY SENSITIVE TO ISSUES UNLIKE PETER, DESPITE BEING A LAWYER, YOU CAN TELL FROM HIS STATEMENTS THAT HE HAS A LOT OF GAPS EVEN ON LEGAL ISSUES.

    THE BBC INTERVIEW WITH GOODALL GONDWE IS LIKE ADDING FUEL ON FIRE AND IS A CLEAR TESTIMONY THAT THE KAMLEPO KALUA AND HARRY MKANDAWIRE OUTBURSTS ARE PAYING DIVIDENDS BIG TIME SO THOSE OF YOU WITH YOUR HEADS FULL OF WATER SHOULD STOP YOUR FWE….FWE…..FWE….ON NYSATIMES AS IF MALAWI IS YOUR PERSONAL ESTATE.PETER HAS USELESS ADVISORS,MOST OF THEM BEING HOME BOYS, EVIDENCE IS THERE THAT PETER MUTHALIKA HAS NOT BEEN SMART ON THE ISSUE OF THE SEVEN MINISTERS

  9. peter says:

    It looks like the cartel is cracking gradually as their actions smack of systematic cover up. The once respected public officials will have to face the consequences of their illegal actions one day and from what Goodal responded, it is clear that these criminals are being squeezed as they don’t have enough space to manoeuvre.

  10. Patriot says:

    Pathetic response from the finance minister. It just shows your are indeed hiding something

  11. The Patriot says:

    More fire BBC, next time ask the President himself why he is hiding the names! Our government listens to BBC and once a story is broadcasted at BBC the government acts!
    Now to our dear old friens good Goodall Gondwe, its a pity that you were not here in 1994 and so you may not know! Without IMF and world bank pressurizing Kamuzu, there wouod have been no multiparty democracy and therefore you, Peter and Chaponda woukd have been in exile up to now!!! Economic sanctions forced Kamuzu to order for a referendum and the result was we Malawians chose multiparty democracy…..and this madness we call Cashgate. As for me and any articulate Malawian we are happy that there is the ACB, but not happy that it is not arresting the 7 rotten ministers……..how I wish we were Chinese….corruption is punishable by death in China. The 7 ministers would have been dead by now…only if we were in China. Corruption kills but Cashgate massacres, these 7 rotten ministers need to be arrested, their assets seized and jailed for life or put out to an angry mob to deal with them!!!!

    1. Phulusa says:

      You are a fool, who do you think was funding UDF? ask Muluzi, Gondwe was working for IMF, he was never in exile, who do you think was supporting multi party democracy?

      That is the problem with Malawians you forget very quickly, ask Muluzi about the support Gondwe gave to UDF.

  12. Fearson Kadala says:

    Another dunderhead. Ugly birds of the same feathers! I don’t understand why they still impose this clown as a finance minister on us. No wonder Malawi is a laughing stock out there! Mmmxxxx!!!!

  13. Buyelekhaya says:

    “Yes, I think that you have a point there, that the system is such that, and it’s not only here in Malawi by the way, it’s true in Kenya, it’s true in Zambia and it’s true everywhere”! Koma pamenepo a Gondwe. Ingqondo yakhe akasebenzi kakuhle lomntu omdala, ixhego! Hamba ekhaya e-Enukweni khawuphumleni! Sizokufumana khona!

    1. Shasha wesiZulu says:

      Ingqondo yakhe ayisebenzi kahle. Umuntulo mdala , ulixhegu manje, akahambe ayophumula kwabo eNukweni

    2. Bingiza says:

      Nde mwati chani?

  14. Diondro says:

    This cash gate issue is a chain. They know once those names are released a lot of people will be implicated including those with names. If JB name was in those papers by now the names could have been naned and shamed. They are scared to be shamed.
    Soon or later this document will be leaked. Komatu ziululika. It’s just a matter of time. Ma connection amanenedwa aha ndi awa. Mphuno salota konekishoni inalumikizika ndi cash gate. Pano document ikuvuta kutulutsa. Olo isowe a price water Ali ndi original documents.

    I wonder what Chakwera is doing on this issue. Please Abusa tithandizeni. Nkhani iyi iwoneke Mathelon ake.

    1. Achakwera Nawonso Anga Akuba says:

      Chakwera is the most useless opposition leader I have ever come across. He is silent on issues that he should be leading. Can he relinquish his position to Kamlepo asp!

  15. Mbava says:

    just replace 7 fat cows with 7 thin cows

  16. Spade says:

    I had some little faith left in this old imbecile, but having listened to his responses in this interview, I am convinced he is a thief and a bastard!

  17. kkilembe says:

    Failed sate. Without the IMF, the Malawi govt would be very happy to operate without ACB. Very sad indeed coming from the Minister of Finance.

  18. Mbumbumbu says:

    “travesty of the doctrine of separation [of power]. ” ….as in the words of Constitutional and Justice Minister.. if this is the way we think about the ACB thenwe have a long way to go as a Country. No serious at all. We are actually encouraging ‘kuba’ within the government. The ACB is supposed to be Independent

  19. JJB says:

    Loud and clear, did not say “imposed”

  20. Mapwevupwevu says:

    Ndiye BBC reporter wache wofoilatu, why didnt he direct such questiond at ACB or Attorney General?

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