Malawi lost K8.9bn through cashgate – Finance Minister

Malawi’s Finance Minister Maxwell Mkwezalamba has announced that the auditing that government undertook on the onset of cashgate scandal revealed that the money stolen was K8.9 billion, not the K20 billion that the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) suspected.

Mkwezalamba announced at a news conference in Blantyre on Sunday when he welcomed  IMF’s “exciting news” of releasing a long delayed $20 million (around K9 billion) under the Extended Credit Facility (ECF) that many thought was threatened by the toxic cashgate.

“We did not want to talk about it then because we are waiting for the forensic report. The forensic will reveal whether the money stolen was more or less than the K8.9 billion which we have been quoting in all official discussion,” said Mkwezalamba.

Mpinganjira and Mkwezalamba briefing journalists

Mpinganjira and Mkwezalamba briefing journalists

IMF has resolved to immediately disburse about $20 million in suspended funding to Malawi.

The IMF imposed the suspension last October pending investigations of a scandal in which millions of dollars in public funds were looted from government coffers.

Although government authorities are happy with the IMF’s change of heart, commentators warn that this does not necessarily mean all is well on the country’s economic front.

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