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.

Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :

Please share this Article if you like Email This Post Email This Post

More From Nyasatimes

More From the World

Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
Angel of Doom
Guest
Angel of Doom
1 month 7 days ago
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… Read more »
FKSKS
Guest
FKSKS
1 month 7 days ago
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… Read more »
Cornwell Dangaya Mulenga
Guest
Cornwell Dangaya Mulenga
1 month 7 days ago
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… Read more »
True Patriot
Guest
True Patriot
1 month 7 days ago
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… Read more »
James
Guest
James
1 month 7 days ago

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).

Huwiii Gondweuyo
Guest
Huwiii Gondweuyo
1 month 7 days ago

A Gondwe ngakuba yawo osamataya nawo nthawi.

Central
Guest
Central
1 month 7 days ago

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

VYOTO
Guest
VYOTO
1 month 7 days ago
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… Read more »
peter
Guest
peter
1 month 7 days ago

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.

Patriot
Guest
Patriot
1 month 7 days ago

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

wpDiscuz