Malawi Finance Minister Goodall Gondwe ‘has reached his apex of reasoning’

Yes, Finance and Economic Planning Minister Goodall Gondwe understands public finance management better than most of us.

Finance Minister Goodall Gondwe holds his Budget box

Finance Minister Goodall Gondwe holds his Budget box

Yes, Gondwe is experienced—he has worked higher at the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and has been in the kitchen of Malawi’s finance for decades.

However, our economy, today, has worsened to a point where, not tomorrow but today, we need to question the so-called ‘brains’ behind its management.

You see, when Peter Mutharika took over from Joyce Banda in May 2014, the economy, already, was in bad shape. However, Mutharika made a commitment to get the economy back on track.

The symbol of that commitment, like his brother Bingu in 2014, was in roping in Gondwe in Finance.

For some of us with fresh memories of Gondwe’s mettle in the Ministry between 2004 and 2009, we had hoped that, somehow, things would, indeed, revert to good times.

Three years now, has anything changed?

The local currency, still on a floating spree, continues to lose its value against its major trading partners. Companies are struggling and some are closing and people are losing jobs. Commodity prices, especially basic staples such as maize, continue to soar.

If anything, with Gondwe on the steering wheel, our economic vehicle continues to slide into dungeons of abyss.

It would be foolhardy, of course, to blame it all on Gondwe. However, trust me, had it been that the economy was in great shape—like it was between 2006 and 2009—we would, again, vote Gondwe ‘Africa’s smartest finance minister of year.’

Surely, whatever happens to our economy, Gondwe shoulders the largest share of the blame.

I am of the strong opinion, like others have argued before, that Gondwe has reached his apex of reasoning.

For instance, last September, Gondwe, pressed with questions of the falling state of the economy, assured Malawians that it would improve sometime this year.

But Gondwe fell short of underlining the basis of his forecast. I am sure he said that because he was supposed to say something, even something and foolish, to a people that wanted him to open his mouth about the economy.

It is for that reason, I guess, that Gondwe, early this year, changed the hopeful tone and resigned our economy to God’s fate.

When you have an entire minister, whom we are told is experienced in financial matters, invoking God, instead of policy, in the management of public finance, you surely know that he has completely run out of ideas.

Let us face it, fellow Malawians: If Gondwe was employed to manage the country’s finances, with the current state of the economy, what would compel us to keep him on the payroll?

The reason Gondwe is still Finance Minister is the reason Malawi will remain poor for the next 50 years.

You see, amid Saulos Chilima’s relentless reform song, it does not make sense to keep somebody in the job that we have evidence he or she is failing to perform.

As a country, we have internalised the rot of keeping people in positions where they are not delivering.

We all bear the truth, and we are self-evident, that Gondwe is failing to deliver in finance.

He has failed to bring back the donors. He is failing to stir confidence in the economy. He is failing to control your wasteful expenditure. He is failing to discipline his controlling officers who, amid reforms in public finance management, are still failing to submit monthly financial reports to Treasury. The list is endless.

I don’t know about you, but I feel Gondwe, like journalist Idriss Ali Nassah wrote in My Turn column last week, ‘is old, he is tired, he has no new ideas and he is way past his ‘sell-by-date’.

I am sure, Mr President, there are many young and capable Malawians out there—even in your Democratic Progressive Party (DPP)—that can bring a difference to the Finance ministry, apart from Gondwe.

I am not suggesting that Gondwe’s ouster will, in a flash, turn around the economy. No. However, I have a strong view that if Gondwe leaves, a new school thought will emerge in the ministry which will refresh how things are being done.


  • The article first appeared in the Nation on Sunday newspaper
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27 thoughts on “Malawi Finance Minister Goodall Gondwe ‘has reached his apex of reasoning’”

  1. Ngwanya weniweni says:

    Wamuudala Mwakalamba pitani kunyumba mukapume chaa!

  2. anyamata says:

    whats the accountin edition now? What edition did he use during his study? Dont blame him thats the accounting that he studied which was relevant for the 20th c & not now the 21st c. Anyamata ndi atsogoleri a mawa DPP WOYEEEE

  3. old and tired,i like that,with him pa chiwongolero malawi can not move forwad

  4. Ngongoliwa says:

    Vuto ndi lakuti khalamba zimakhulupilira kuti khalamba zinzawo ndiye za nzeru. Let me tell someone who cannot conversant with new technologies can keep up with modern economics.

  5. Dikisan says:

    Munthu womangogwa akamadzala maluwa angathandize chiyani kwa Goodal Gondwe? Tiyeni tivomere. Dziko latilaka kuyendetsa, Bola la nthawi ya Tcheya ndi mama Joyce. Zinthu zina Zima pezeka. Koma izi ndiye zayambira ku Thyolo sindikudziwa kuti zikathera kuti? Let wait and see.

  6. kamkulanye says:

    It is unfair to blame Hon. Goodall Gondwe. Malawi is too poor to do without donor support. The major reason that the economy is collapsing is due to lack of donor support. Malawi is mostly a consuming country. The export base is very narrow and is worsened by externalization of the money realized from from export. A lot of people (both Malawians and foreigners) in the country are cheating government on foreign earnings. There is a story that foreigners running tourism industry have banks in their countries such that when tourists come to Malawi, they have already paid in those bank accounts and when they land here, the tour operators will give them Malawi Kwacha to use. There are many stories, some foreigners are caught with huge amounts of money in foreign currencies so Malawi is just used to generate wealth for other countries. How many are not caught? As Malawians, lets be patriotic and stop corruption at any level. I believe the Reserve Bank of Malawi has a mandate to check on these malpractices.

  7. shosholoza says:

    GG is a man that is serious on his job. The problem in Malawi is the way politics is run. Political system is bad and we need to change. Educated and not educated behave the same. Politicians do not know their role only what they know is to fool people in villages and still money from them. We don’t have patriotic politicians in Malawi. If you remember very well Gondwe was kicked out between 2007 to 20012 why? and this is the time money started to be miss managed in the government.

  8. The Partriot says:

    Ephraim, umanena chatsitsa dzaye kuti njobvu ithyoke nyanga!
    Yes, the economy is bad but is it old Goodall’s fault ?
    Yes, the donors are refusing to give us budgetary support but is it really old Goodall’s fault that the ATI bill was not passed during the last parliamentary session?(one of the conditions for resumption of aid).
    And yes, yes old Goodall did well in 2004 to 2009, but by that time Bingu was a National president(not a tribal one of 2009 to 2012) , and donor money was flowing!
    And yes, yes, yes!! Old Goodall is old and not just old but very old by Malawian standards but if old age is a limitation to perfomance they why single out only him in the cabinet? Eh, nanga awa ndi awo, iwowo ndi Goodall akusiyana chani? Sinatchuletu ine, nanga ndactchula amene mukuwaganizilawo? Nanga poti enawo akufuna mpaka u President!!

  9. Half Mad Youth says:

    Article well written. We need a new school of thought to emerge in finance indeed!

  10. John Black says:

    Gondwe has an impossible task, and someone else in his position would not fare much better. What we need is an overhaul that is much bigger than only Gondwe. The Malawi economy is not mature enough (51 year after independence!) to stand on its own feet. We need donor support and we need to utilise that in a way that does make Malawi independent. Donor support requires keeping records, which will help curb corruption. But that means a total change in the way our government system is run. And a total overhaul of the financial management at every level. The donors have seen what you and me have seen: a lack of seriousness on the side of the government to deliver. Fire Gondwe, fire the whole executive, fir the whole legislative, re educate the judiciary, and bring the whole ruling class to justice. That is what’s required, but who will do that, if the whole ruling class is fired and on remand?

  11. more $ says:

    Nkhalamba iyi idzipita. Kodi bwanji?

  12. vwapuvwapu says:

    munthu wakula uyu. kkkk choncho munthu amaganiza pamozimozi.

  13. awacha says:

    Old blooms sweep the most? I choose to disagree with the saying anyway.

    Goodwall must accept that he is past the time. I remember Goodwall telling the nation that we would soon clapping hands for this DPP govt. I don’t know what what he meant by this. Clapping hands bcoz we are hungry, bcoz we don’t have drugs in hospitals, commodity prices keep on soaring every passing day? ………… and bcoz u are stealing our money despite the ongoing cash gate cases.

    Step down and let others dance

  14. 2016 welcome says:

    Thanks for the article. But the truth is; between 2004 and 2009 the brain behind the vibrant economy was not necessarily Goodall Gondwe as finance minister it was Bingu wa Mutharika himself. Now that we have brainless Peter Mutharika there is no way Goodall Gondwe can perform. Believe you me.

  15. Patriot says:

    A Nyondo mungonena kuti mwatumidwa ndi anthu okonda katangale. Hon Gondwe alakwa chani?

    Mu Malawi muno palibe munthu amene amadziwa kakonzedwe ka za chuma kuposa Hon Gondwe.

    Anthu achichepere akutumaniwo, ndi mbava zowopsa zoti zitibweretseranso Cashgate ina posachedwa.

    Mabvuto azachuma pa Malawi pano ndichifukwa cha cashgate, chilala cha 2015, komanso global crisis.Mayiko onse panopo akubvutika.Kungoti Malawi ndikadziko kosauka ndikale; choncho sikachedwa kumva m’bebe kukagwa mabvuto poyerekeza ndi ena monga South Africa, Kenya, Zambia etc.

  16. mitsubishi honda says:

    If Gondwe,has passed his sale by date ,then the president is expired and must be removed from the shelf.
    It’s not just the finance ministry who can change things around, it’s a team. Don’t just point fingers at Gondwe but the whole team.

  17. Zazaza says:

    Dada Gondwe atopadi. Akapumedi. By all means alowabe mmabuku kuti panali mkulu wina anapangako contribute. I am sure Gondwe sakufuna tikachite kuvota vote of no confie ku nyumba ya ma lamulo (I hope ndizotheka. Bdikapangitsa private motion ine).

  18. Patriot says:

    This article is clearly a smokescreen and a product of mercenary machinations.The master behind is an individual or group of corrupt hopefuls who intend to arm-twist the President so that he removes Hon Gondwe (GG) from the Ministry of Finance.

    Each time when GG is Minister of Finance, he turns out just so difficult to get corrupted and he has made life almost impossible for corrupt businessmen who thrive on bogus, inflated, or creative claims against government.

    Mr Nyondo has tried hard to justify his arguments. But i have better news for him. If there is one ministry that needs mature and stable brains for minister; that ministry is finance. Especially in this age when most people have become too materialistic and want to become millionaires for doing nothing.

    I can assure you here that if a questionable character is made minister of Finance in this economic situation, another cashgate will be upon us in no time.

    It has to be mentioned also that it is not only the ministry of finance that is under performing as Mr Nyondo would like us believe. How about trade, health, agriculture, security etc.

    So why does Mr Nyondo only single out finance?

    Because he is most likely induced by some individuals bent at misleading the President.

    Mr Nyondo may wish to know that GG probably is the only minister in the current cabinet whom the President can call a old genuine friend.Therefore his advice on the economy can be trusted.

    Anyone who truly knows GG can vouch that GG is a great economist and workaholic who genuinely knows and doing the right things to help the President turn around the economic situation we are in.

    Mr Nyondo should be told that our economic situation as at now is largely due to effects of cashgate, poor harvest in 2015, as well as contagion from external shocks.

    The combined effect of these three is no easy matter for a small economy like Malawi.

    1. Baba wa Boy says:


      You a wasting your time, Malawians do not like anyone who is doing the right thing. Malawians are lazy, ignorant, and good at turnishing good peoples names.

  19. truth pans says:

    simukudzitsata mwangopanga comfirm your ignorance

  20. vavlov says:

    It is wrong to blame Gondwe for Malawi’s poor economic standing. There are many factors, way beyond this man, e.g., theft by public officers, and politicians, poor fiscal management and lack of capacity to implement prudent economic policies. Bakili brought mediocrity in the civil service, so now everyone can see the impact. Current leadership seems clueless, so the blame should be collective for DPP, and not Gondwe alone.

  21. eluby chikopa says:

    Wa Dada wachekula!

  22. The Analyst says:

    When Bingu was president, Good-All-Gondwe was seen performing. Truth is, it was not Good-All per se performing, but the combination of him and Bingu; which saw him receiving sensible guidance and direction from Bingu.

    Now, Good-All’s brain-horse power has not deteriorated as we seem to suggest here or somewhere else. Its just the same. However, the environment in which he is working in, is fundamentally different; hence requiring even greater advice for him (from above), which unfortunately is absent.
    Look at such useless ministers as Jappie Mhango or Chiyembekeza etc; these people can’t think unless somebody asks them to, and in a particular way. Sadly, that somebody is the ever-hiding-never-decisive APM.
    Even in the Ministry of Justice where APM is expected to be a savant hence on top and in control of issues, all we see are crazy outcomes like unprocedural suspension of anti-gay laws, accent to the marriage age bill despite glaring inconsistencies, unsystematically uncoordinated and selective justice delivery in the system etc.
    You see, even in football, no matter how skillful the individual players may be, they win no trophies, if the coach has no skill to not only assemble the best team, but also give sensible advice to the players.
    While acknowledging that some individual players can outperform the entire team sometimes, the entire team is more often than not, blamed for a loss than the individual players; and more so, the one who assembled the team.

    To say the least (though much has already been said), everything about the system of this fish called Malawi economy now; is wrong and rotten, starting from the head of the fish.

  23. Kenkkk says:

    I have always said Gondwe is useless but if your argument is based on his age, then the same applies to apm. After all Gondwe is just implementing dpp economic policy, not Gondwe economic policy.

    So the whole dpp govt is absolutely useless.

    Am back despite a cyber war attack on my devices by those who don’t want to hear opinions different from their own. Pure childish and dictatorial. Perform then you will have the whole malawi and world praising your govt.

    1. The Analyst says:

      Good to hear from you Ken.
      Am also experiencing the same problem you have described as cyber attack. The page is unsuitable. Thus, if you open up a story, you are automatically taken back to the homepage. Am now forced to use my phone, which seems relatively stable; but not safe for anonymous interaction. Sometimes, I even get stray names and email addresses of people who are here. Sadly, although the names are pseudo, most email addresses and names therein; are not.

      I feel it’s a general problem, as Nyasatimes is still making improvements on their page. It’s just unfortunate that instead of improvements, the opposite is what’s happening . More unfortunate however, is that, even if you write the editors and inform them of the problems, they don’t act.

      Be not surprised if we hear less and less of each other soon if the problem persists.

  24. wewe says:

    It’s true

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