Malawi banks slammed over degrading treatment: Man wetted himself because staff wouldn’t let him use toilet

National Bank of Malawi (NBM) at the Henderson Street Branch in Blantyre has been slammed over their ‘cruel and degrading’ treatment of Blantyre-based entrepreneur William Sichinga when he wet himself in the middle of a the banking hall after he was refused use of the toilet.

Kapito:  Banks should serve customers well

Kapito: Resounding message

Man wetted himself

Man wetted himself

Sichinga said he was left ‘totally humiliated’ with the incident.

The story attracted wraths of commentators who accused NBM and other commercial banks over poor service delivery.

Consumer Association of Malawi ( CAMA) boss John Kapito said the recent saga involving businessman who peed in his trousers after waiting for three hours at a bank should send a resounding message of the urgent need to clear this mess. Otherwise, these are no laughing matters, he observed.

“Banks in Malawi love to see people suffering and standing on the queues for a long time. One wonders how on earth any supervisor would sit on her or his chair and watch a large group of consumers queuing over one teller when most bank employees are busy eating tangerines and groundnuts, and chatting on Whattsup,” Kapito said..

Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation (CHRR), human rights advocate, Makhumbo Munthali said bank should treat customers with dignity and not only be interested in making profits.

Munthali said bank’s treatment to Sichinga was “appalling” and “degrading.”

And writing in his ‘Cut the Chaff’ column published in the Weekend Nation, Ephraim Munthali wrote:”Banks in this country have been allowed to get away with so much that they believe they can do anything with people’s money. And the regulator, Reserve Bank of Malawi, constantly snores on the job. Where will customers turn to? Malawians are really bitter with our banks. “

NBM’s account relationship manager Chimwemwe Mtima-Jere apologised for the incident and reiterated that the bank’ policy does not allow customers to use its washroom facilities “for security concerns.”

Bankers Association of Malawi executive director Lyness Nkungula said restrooms are not provided in the banking halls for security reasons and that if a person is pressed, he or she has the liberty to ask for a restroom.

Recently, senior media practitioner Charles Simango took it to his Facebook wall to post a stinging criticism of a CDH Investment Bank poor customer care services.

Simango—a highly-regarded journalist and editor—also tore apart one of the country’s largest banks for its arrogance towards existing and potential customers.

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51 thoughts on “Malawi banks slammed over degrading treatment: Man wetted himself because staff wouldn’t let him use toilet”


    National Bank ma Teller ake ali Lazy kwambiri and u stand for a long time on quee, i love Opportunity Bank ,they know how to save Customer,and they respect a Customer as a boss of that Bank unlike other Bank ,guys try Opportunity Bank you will never regret on Customer Service,this is so Sad

  2. phodox says:

    My dear you could have just produced real hard staff. It could have communicated the message of customer care throughout the bank.

  3. shaaaa! says:

    nde ku bank kumeneku azimayi amaphoda ngati ziwanda,usiku utakumana nazo panjira,ukhoza kuthawa.mahule ndi mmbava ku bank imeneyi.

  4. Damage says:

    Musundu wanyoko iwe ukunena atumbuka , infact pathako pako & ndiwe chindele. There is no correlation with tumbuka & the issue been raised here . iweyo uzazinyera kapolo waziko wachabechabe

  5. musolin says:

    Malawi economy can not grow as we all hope for….we have alot of educated savages in Malawi especially in the banking sector. They lack innovation, just waiting for allowances and demand deposits. Why should we spend 2 hours in bank as the money is for the bank? If I drop my 5million bank account would National bank have made that 14billion profit? Mbewa zopanda nzeru Ku ma bank onse, firstly National Bank, NBS bank,komanso bank ya Zuma iyi Standard bank.

  6. Jelbin mk says:

    Mr nkhwazi you are a pathetic human being can’t you comment constructively? Without mentioning tribes? You recognise people by their surnames,we can’t live like that mr you must wise up pls. And more over umamwa tea ngati zilipo zogulira sugar otherwise umangokhala wonyoza aneba kuti amazikonda chifukwa cha tea wawo womwe.

  7. mcdonald nkhoma says:

    The banks have realy gone wild. There is no customer care at all. Some of us are just compelled to use the bank like national bank because kusintha panopa zambiri zisokonekera kwambiri. They just stopped issuing annual bank statements without notice and when you need one it is very expensive. They really have control of our money and we are just left helpless. Please mr Kapito press for our rights as customers in the banks.
    Ena omwe ali ndi vuto ndi a NICO aja amapanga za ma insurance policy. Akutiberanso ndalama and they delay payments nakonso kuli mavuto ambiri zedi. We just do not have the right forum to express our concerns.

  8. madzola says:

    Concerned citizen galu wamkulu

  9. truevoter says:

    Ine ndidzapita to fmb ndi nbs capital city branch zoposesazo

  10. George phiri says:

    What do you mean (1) when you say for the security of your money? Your comment clearly shows you work for national bank. Dont be silly my freind because you should know better that any bank robbery customers dont lose their money because banks are insured. When making these comments you should be aware that one day you will be on those crockdile ques waiting to cash your money.
    Three issues at hand here; long ques are unacceptable in the modern business environment, secondly Sichinga is a customer and not a robber as such he should have been assisted. This could be your father or brother one day and finally if Sichinga has a loan that the bank happily granted, it has nothing to do with asking for a toilet.
    National bank members of staff are rude because they think by being in the bank all those customers are stupid and ignorant.
    What happened is bad and we should be working towards finding a long lasting solution.

  11. Totolitotoli says:

    Kuti ama Bank amve kuti zatikwiyitsa a Kapito mupange ma demostration tonse tikakodzere ma bank omwe tiri nawo pafupi.

  12. moya says:

    Why can’t they build an outside toilet not attched to the bank? but a nice one if security is really their concern? they simply don’t care about customers welfare

  13. Achalume says:

    Mangochi NB and STD ali ndi ma toilets.Amen.

  14. mikisoni says:

    Lets copy what game stores are doing..please we are all human beings..lets be humane…anthu timakhala pa line 4 hrs..

  15. Pincode says:

    osamangosunkha ndalamazo kunyumba bwa

  16. Phwado says:

    This is the first incident to happen in the banking history of this country.Many people have had such situations,even the pressure to defaecate many times but have had sorted it out in one way or another not pissing themselves like this stupid adult person.While I also hate National Bank of Malawi as the bank that lacks seriousness and has the most first class rudness of all,it is appropriate that banks must not provide toilets for security reasons.For those who are criticising the bank’s action they don’t know.It looks simple in this case but it will be a very serious mistake to provide washrooms for customers.Banks are not restaurants or hotels to provide such servives.It is understandable in these places because one has to create some space in readness of the food to come.Sichinga must be an imbecile!Of course I will close my account with NBM after finishing paying back my loan.Sichinga you are very stupid!

  17. shaaaa! says:

    paja akuti kwabwera matenda oti ukakhala ndi achikondi ambirimbiri,kaya ndiwe mkazi kapena mwamuna,umangokodzedza paliponse,nthawi iliyonse,popanda ma buleki.kkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk

  18. ikamuna yamemena says:

    What security are these people talking about? You even provide us with water to drink knowing that we do have thirty yet you forget that after three hours waiting for your cumbersome service same water has finished the circle of digestion while still on the line. I expect one day one customer will find the comfort of urinating on those nice chairs to send the message home. Sorry Badada Sichinga for the break failure.

  19. mailosi tangukumva says:

    What security are these people talking about? You even provide us with water to drink knowing that we do have thirty yet you forget that after three hours waiting for your cumbersome service same water has finished the circle of digestion while still on the line. I expect one day one customer will find the comfort of urinating on those nice chairs to send the message home. Sorry Badada Sichinga for the break failure.

  20. Atumbuka kukonda tea too much kumwa makapu 4 m’mawa nkani mumazikozela mu bank.. sichinga let this be a lesson one cup of tea is enough asa

  21. Malingamoyo says:

    Uuh! Zikumveka kafungo katulo la mabanki a Chimalawi

  22. Bored customer says:

    Malawian banks are funny.You go to the bank during lunch time and you find only one teller serving a snaky queue and a teller looking bored by the queue.They are only interested in making billion profits without giving back the good services to customers.Nanji NBS yapa City centre ndi yachimidzimidzi.They are not helpful to customers.

  23. mbanga says:

    The most secure solution is to have a toilet outside but within the bank premises. The toilet can sit on a 200 mm slab that no man can dig without power tools.

    its so degrading to keep your pee for hours just to withdraw a small amount. Help us banks.

  24. ndadabwa says:

    the issue here is National bank should improve its services. they seem to employee dull people who work at a snail’s pace. one is kept in the bank for 3 hours. zopusa!!!!!!!!!!!

  25. ndadabwa says:

    toxic loan boy, you are very stupid

  26. Honest says:

    2things to be done here.

    1. Provide the toilets for us customers or

    2. Improve your services so that we dönt take long in the bank.

  27. Media English 101 Wetted? says:

    Please Nyasatimes, do not embarrass us. The past tense of wet is wet. Nothing like “wetted” How did that pass through proof-reading guys? And its in the headline? Come on.

  28. kanyimbi says:

    Tsiku lina ndizanyera mu bank ine. Stupid! If all the people can stop banking with you are you going to operate your bank? So everyone is a thief since you can not provide toilets? i hope all banks have no toilets in Malawi.

  29. Okonko says:

    Kodi anthu inu, when you are commenting are you not bothered by malamulo a chiyankhulo ndi kalembedwe? Very careless people, Zimandichititsa manyazi kwabasi.

  30. Kachamba says:

    Automation of the banking system might help solve the problem. Have ATMs in which you just dont`t withdraw money but also deposit it. These machines might be expensive but they will serve alot of customers as compared to how fast a teller can do the same work. Besides having a toilet for the customers wouldn`t do the banks any harm.

    Based on my experience locally and internationally.

  31. bob says:

    all banks in the world have poor customer care as they do not have toilets for their clients. The customer should know this and find alternatives. If you pee in public the way poor sichinga did, then its irresponsible of him. He should be charged for indecent behavior

  32. Nachipanti says:

    Do not blame the bank. Toilets in the banks are not for public and yes it is for security reasons that customers dont use the bank toilets. I for one do not recommend public toilets in the banks and if this man wetted himself, he may have taken too much liquid beyond limit or he may have had a motive which got busted when he didnt have access to the toilet. He wetted himself because his mission failed so he wanted to draw attention and sympathy.Thumbs up NBM.

  33. Concerned Citizen says:

    Malawi Banks are same coz all other banks got staff and workers from National Bank. Go to FDH there is someone senior who worked for NB. Go to MSB, CDH,Nedbank, NFB and NBS you will find someone senior trained by NB. Something wrong with George Patridge and Harlod Jiya

  34. MARTIN MUBISA says:


  35. Kangaroo-Court says:

    wht kind of security is tht?hw many times hav the banks being robbed by the customers?you already knw the robbers and how do they come,he was a customer and was supposed to enjoy his liberty yes.
    If tht is the case banks should consider putting restrooms for customers,be it outside or even inside.If they say for security reasons,why do you hav security team within the bank?take consideration on this one as soon as possible.Such a big and reliable bank doing that,what a shame!

  36. ujeni says:

    The Bank was at fault here, first for keeping people in the Banking Hall for 3hrs without being served. If you keep people for for long hours then provide the toilets, mwamva? Stupid customer service, a third world country ignorant of customer service.

  37. Naphiri wa A Phiti says:

    I totally agree with number 1 as a customer myself I have been to toilets if Henderson street they are right by the reception outside the banking hall why didn’t he use them the guy wants to attract attention to himself so that the bank doesn’t repossess his property for failing to service a loan he took for his business sick minds

  38. Mavuto Ku Malawi says:

    Nde Ndikumalawi Kokhako2.Manyazi,ndani Sanyera Or Kukodza Kut Munganene Kt Security.Ndalama Sizimasungidwa Pa Hall,bwanji Pomanga Ma Bank Anu Simumaganizira Zot Makasitoma Adzafuna Kunya.Zausilu Eti

  39. Tiko says:

    Alufeyo mwatero, kunyoza civil servant pokalandira salary ku Bank. Mabillion a profit amene standard bank yapanga, mukukudziwa komwe achokera? Mmmmh.

  40. Kwangwagwa says:

    Amangetu, tiyeni amuna tonse tikadzikozere kapena kukondza mu bank yimeneyi, shaaa!

  41. Kwangwagwa says:

    Amangetu tiyeni amuna tonse tikadzikozere kapena kukondza mu bank yimeneyi.

  42. lady D says:

    I bet 2 disagree with the one who says that the guy had some motives…it happened to me last week at NBM i had waited in line for almost 2hrs and the bank was closed i couldnt go out to realive myself bcoz i wont b allowed back in since the bank was already closed and i couldnt left without depositing the company money…lucky enough i spoke wth 1 of e seniors at e bank who allowed me 2 go outside 2 relieve myself and promise 2 allow me back in afterwards otherwise i could have done the samething as this man

  43. Khuth'upa o'Machemba says:

    1. “Rules are for fools” was written but someone, but with tongue-in-cheek. The point is there are always exceptional cases; and rules are meant to be broken, for good reasons (maybe except in military and quasi-military organizations).
    2. The main point , though, here is that the bank was/is averse to prompt service. Malawian banks get away with “murderous” service never heard of anywhere else. In many countries, waiting for one’s own money, in a bank, for half an hour would be unacceptable. Where are the managers in these organizations? Or even the directors, or chairman? Do they not feel ashamed when they read about these kinds of events regarding their companies? Shame to them, big time.
    3. Among organizations, only Kapito’s group has vehemently, and assiduously, condemned this kind of barbaric and primitive conduct by Malawi banks. How about the many publicity-seeking NGO’s? Where are they? And don’t tell me this kind of problem is not within their mandate. Malawians would be better served if some of these NGOs spent worthwhile time on this. Maybe even calling for a demo! Rather than just pocketing money from travel, seminar and food allowances: as that is what they seem to be well known for!

  44. toxic loan boy says:

    i’m sick of looking at this fools urine. a grown man cant piss himself no matter what. why do you think he’s the only one to ever have this happen to him? because he wanted to use the bathrooms that are off limits. all of us use the bathrooms outside the bank then go back inside when we’re done.

    when i was 6 years old, my mum would always ask ‘are you sure you dont need to pee?” before a long car ride. does this guy have nobody to ask him?

  45. sikusinja says:

    Bongozozo, even if you excuse yourself, where in Blantyre could he have gone to use a public toilet from Henderson street. The bottom line is if the banks see it okay to make pple wait 3 hours to be served, you need to provide certain amenities. Otherwise everyone shud be served within a reasonable time. I stood in line for an hour and a half at city center branch just to deposit 50000. Henderson street has more than 10 cubicles but if you are lucky the most you will find with a teller is 6. Last time I counted on the line for deposits there were 25 people waiting for one teller. What kind of rubbish is that.

  46. nganga says:

    It is national bank of Malawi not national washroom this sichinga is a shame from the north

  47. Kenkkk says:

    This was an emergency and the bank should have escorted this man with their security to the rest room or toilet. Moreover as I understand the bank know him very well because he is one of their regular business customers.

  48. Chimms says:

    I think and 100% believe that. away can be found to provide toilets to the customers within the banking premises without compromising on the so called security.

    Jst consult professionals with relevant skills in building space planning, architects.

    Its jst inconsideration on the part of the banks, that they dot have sanitary facilities for their customers, which is really a shame and yet they make millions of profits from the very customers they mistreat.

  49. Chimms says:

    I think and 100% believe that a way can be found to provide sanitary facilities to customers of the bank within the bank premises without compromising on their so called security.

    Just consult relevant professionals in building design, architects.

  50. Alufeyo says:

    Why do you keep your little coins in these banks? In any case the interest given to you is not worth the trouble of wetting your trousers. The truth is that banks dont need your changes because they rely on bigger companies as worthy customers. I feel sorry for civil servants for being forced by Mwanamvekha to receive their meagre salaries through banks. In fact National Bank and Standard Bank feel civil servants are more of a nuisance than clients.

  51. bongozozo says:

    The fact still remains that banks do not provide washrooms in their banking halls. This should sink into us as customers. It is for the security of our moneys…..full stop. Even if we try to go to town saying this and that about our banks….the fact will still remain. The dude would have excused himself. It is very possible to keep your space on the queue. This guy had other motives unknown to many of us.

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