Mutharika has played us for fools: Malawi Savings Bank sale

It is no longer a rumour as it was few weeks ago, Malawi Savings Bank (MSB) and Indebank have been sold. I wish I could extol government for selling MSB, which many claim was on verge of collapsing—thanks to political interference (read toxic loans) in the bank and politically connected people who ransacked and left it hemorrhaging.msb cashgate

There are reasons many argued for and against the sale of MSB, but that is a discussion for another day.

There is a nudging feeling that is compelling me to air my thoughts on the matter. I find it grossly disturbing that President Peter Mutharika after telling Malawians that he will put on hold the sale of MSB until when he is convinced that there has been enough debate and consultation on the pros and cons of selling it went against his promise.

I remember how many Malawians took to social media networks commending Mutharika for finally coming out of his cocoon and offering direction on the matter. Many even christened him ‘a listening president’ who has the welfare of Malawians at heart.

Little did we know that Mutharika was simply pulling wool over our eyes—he had already made the decision and was waiting for the perfect time to put pen to paper. There was a feeling among many, if reactions on social media are anything to go by, that perhaps Mutharika is a man of his words. He was indeed given the benefit of the doubt but, unfortunately, he has just proved that he is not a man of his words.

I have a feeling that government was waiting for MPs to pass the Budget to avoid the “Section 65 number one, Budget number two” scenario which paralysed Parliament during Bingu wa Mutharika’s reign.

I have not been outside Malawi and even if I were, in this age of Internet, I would still have heard and read about this public debate. It never happened and that’s the general feeling one gets when you read comments on social media. What did Mutharika really mean by public debate if no public was involved in making the final decision? Could it be that he meant his inner circle is the public? So much for a listening government.

From the look of things, even Parliament has been caught unawares. Just a day after it recommended government recapitalisation of the bank, MSB was sold. Finance Minister Goodall Gondwe must have been looking at the MPs and laughing at them. We all have been played for fools.

And typical of us Malawians, we will sit with hands akimbo and grumble about it without doing anything. For those who can, they will spend hours on Facebook and Twitter and sulking. We seriously need to learn that no hashtag or Facebook post makes things work if we do not get up and do it.

  • The article appeared in the The Nation newspaper
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23 thoughts on “Mutharika has played us for fools: Malawi Savings Bank sale”

  1. fex mulinde says:

    sometimes u speak like ur brain has stop workng, dnt u see that it was deal to sell. Wen u knw the truth u will cry

  2. For the public debate ask Zodiak and Mayaya it was done several weeks ago and the panelists were our Malawi economists, Mayaya, law society president, some MPs, etc. and I happened to watch a replay on MBC- TV some weeks ago. It was mostly sms participated by most Mchinji guys. If you didn’t watch and participated it is your problem because nowadays people are busy watching DSTv and videos ignoring our local broadcasters and I think the President acted on those debate findings. May be you wanted the debate to be carried out at a stadium so that everyone would have participated through the use of megaphones, what a sorry sight and I suppose it would have taken many days to conclude it for everyone to be heard. The thing is what is the economic backing you people have on no sale of MSB? For toxic loans: Who made Mulli unable to pay back the loan? All what is seen here is jealous, you oppressed the guy deliberately so to pin him in the end in the name of toxic loans. Had it not that this guy was oppressed surely he would have managed to pay back the loan and MSB wouldn’t have collapsed koma vuto mbuzi za PP ndi ng’ona za kongilesi sizinafune kumvetsera malangizo a mithutha pa za chuma a World Bank kufuna kuti amutchere msampha Mulli kampani yake igwe, Mwaonatu, matama ndikumangolongolola pa zithu zopanda ndi backing nkomwe. Surprisingly you are only looking on one side of the story; of politicians forcing the bank to give loans to those in closer ties with it which is a total lies and fiction. What about the same politicians using the bank as a tool to finish those they perceive enemies and to crush them later in the name of toxic loans-which is the borne of all this contention? This bank was just a waste to our sick economy and it was aggravating our sickening by oppressing our economic giants. Look at what happened to National Bus Company, the Company is staggering because of jealous. JB’s battle with Mulli has brought a lot of misery to our Economy zipani zankhanza chonchi ife tikuti ayi mMalawi muno mwamva a youth league inu ndipo zikuoneka kuti simunalapebe; mudzatigulitsa makadi. That Company is already well established with the help of our own government in terms of security, loans etc. why then erase it? With this cruelty, nepotism, tribalism and jealous, are you going to lead us smoothly? I doubt your credibility: Why plotting against our local entrepreneurs? Don’t you know they are our economic backbone? Inudi simudzatithandiza mphuma ndi dyera lake limeneli I’m doubting ngati mulamule mwachangu.

  3. Banzo says:

    Some comment that I see here they really make me feel sad. Walking Bare foot of somebody you are blaming the government. Yet child spacing is not taken care in the village. Mukamaberekana mosaganiza mumati Peter azakulelerani ana anu ? cash gate scandal was done by government official , now Peter is selling Government Bank to make it private so that it can run efficiently why r u crying ? The bank still the same only change of hand so what’s the concern ? some they are saying constructive criticism/advice, where was it before cash gate ? Let the Government do what is the best for Malawi . We are tired of cash gate. the hatred go to hell until Mutharika finish his term. It’s time of developing Malawi, you don’t have clue to do it, let the president do what he knows. And you criticizer stay with your poor criticism that aim at rooting government money.

    I will always support the ruling President because he is chosen one no matter what. During Joyce Banda I had 1 million kwacha to my bank account within several minutes when devaluation happened, my money turned to valuing half million just imagine because of hose you call it constrictive advice . To hell with it.

  4. Galu Wapananji says:

    With the official opposition that we have, we will continue being played for fools for the next nine years. MCP and PP members of parliament just don’t do their homework. They react to national events the same way an ordinary citizen does – with lots of emotion and little thinking.

    Just today it has transpired that they were supposed to FORMALLY summon APM to Parliament. If they bothered to read the laws which they pass, they would represent us better.

    DPP doesn’t have the numbers to ride roughshod over Malawians; this is only made possible because our sleeping opposition MP’s…

  5. MTNBAC says:

    Koma bwampini…

  6. Jelbin mk says:

    By the way msb is reported to have made a profit worthy 2.something billion which means the bank did not need any money to be pumped into its system for its survival, they just wanted to rescue Mulli from the loan finish and clear.

  7. Jelbin mk says:

    Mr Jose who lied to you that msb needed K300 billion? By the way do u know the value of 300 billion kwacha? Its a 1/3 of our national budget for a year. You are one of the people who were telling people lies that msb needed alot of money while it only needed a mere 4 billion to be on its steady feet but the reserve bank exaggerated the figures to 26 billion in order to convince the unthinkable people like you Mr Jose. The selling of the bank is a good development if it is done in a good and transparent manner not the way your stupid catoon president and stupid Gondwe did by paying off debts for the people who could pay on their own.

  8. Phundey says:

    What goes around comes around . Birds of the same feathers and genes will always resemble. What if we …… Hold our uncocievd patience and act. Come out of the cacOon eish.

  9. Mbanangwa says:

    Walk from Nkhota-Kota to Benga, an school pupils walk barefoot! Poverty still amaze me while a few leaders sit down to steal from the poor. In 2015, pupils can still walk barefoot to school and yet a few misguided leaders can still cash gate to bluff us all. To be honest, the economy has bitten s hard.

  10. Madududu says:

    Played again for real.

  11. Mercy Kunchule says:

    I for one am not surprised, that’s typical of we Malawians. This country is full of cowards people who like talking behind closed doors!

    During the MTL Privatization only one person in the name Kennedy musonda the former telecommunication giant board chair stood up against the sale whilst we all buried our heads in the sand! Shame on us all. The DPP Mutharika family party is a very arrogant administration, it doesn’t listen to constructive criticism or advice.

  12. A C Matewe says:

    My Question Is,how Much Profit Did The Bank Made In 3 yrs?If The Bank Was Loosing In It’s Bussiness And The Workers Remain There Wil It Make Profit?

  13. Chibanja tv says:

    Who is a big fool between the government and local bare foot Malawians told to hold placards with their empty stomachs? Malawians, Malawians you are a nuisance kutengeka ndi zinthu zopanda pake bwanji.

  14. mau a makolo says:

    It makes sense to me to sell a non performing asset unless you had a way of making msb solvent while you chase mulli and friends to pay back the he debt. The financial standing of our country cannot afford to allocate funds to places that should be making the country money and not draining it. At least the bank will be privately run and people above the law cannot use it as their private deal making drainage system. The cashgate in this issue was in the unrepaid loans… granted the people should have been consulted however, how many of us have a finance background. We hire these people and put them in ministries to make these decisions. As for acquisitions and mergers nowhere in the world does a leeked acquisition or merger confirmed before pen is put to paper, this to avoid speculation on stocks. At least msb was sold to a malawian bank not standard which the majority is owned by china or fmb etc.

  15. mau a makolo says:

    It makes sense to me to sell a non performing asset unless you had a way of making msb solvent while you chase mulli and friends to pay back the he debt. The financial standing of our country cannot afford to allocate funds to places that should be making the country money and not draining it. At least the bank will be privately run and people above the law cannot use it as their private deal making drainage system. The cashgate in this issue was in the unrepaid loans… granted the people should have been consulted however, how many of us have a finance background. We hire these people and put them in ministries to make theses decisions. As for acquisitions and mergers nowhere in the world does a leeked acquisition or merger confirmed before pen is put to paper, this to avoid speculation on stocks. At least msb was sold to a malawian bank not standard which the majority is owned by china or fmb etc.

  16. Jose' says:

    Sellina, why are you bragging on something you do not understand?

    APM said the sale of the bank was to be put on hold until he is convinced that there has been enough public debate on the pros and cons of the sale. Who told you that Peter is not convinced of the debate? Why do we people avoid the truth in our articles?

    Can’t somebody say anything on the implications of keeping the bank unsold? Did I hear other quarters say that some MK300 billion plus that govt needed to pump into the good for noting bank to get it back on its feet? Where would we get such kind of money? Let us learn to think with level minds

  17. Chozemba chidzakumana ndi chokwawa!!! says:

    MSB establishment was facilitated by DPP, cannibalized by DPP!! The cannibalization led it to its poor performance!! The bank then was sold at a song by DPP!! Reason, just to cover and save the historical standing of Bingu’s name and other prominent DPP officials!!

    Sadly, Gondwe and DPP cabinet continue to blame MSB management for the poor performance when they clearly know that its them who got the money by force!! satan is indeed bad news and I for one will never be one of his children like these idiots!! God please have mercy with mother Malawi!!

  18. truth pains says:

    Thumbs up for sale. The bank was grossly abused by politicians and they are those championing the challenge on sale. Akuopa ngongole. Mubweza muona yachoka mmanja mwa boma now is pay what you obtained. Do not hide behind a common man who does not even know the owner of MSB. We have so many local malawians in privately owned banks and what do they miss which was uniuque at MSB apart from network failures? Onse anabwereka ndalama akulira simunati mufwentha ndithu

  19. Sapitwa says:

    Actually the MPs and the NGOs played people for fools! They had no mandate beyond their recommendations to stop the sale yet they gave you people an impression of stopping the sale. They also had no mandate to block the budget to pass on the basis of MSB issue. Their mandate was limited to critiquing the allocations of the funds on the budget and this they did. A cherry on the top of the cake was the increased constituency fund from R3m to R9m and this is a benefit to every MP as this is where cash gate takes place between the MPs and the District Commissioners. Thus why the approved the Budget!!!!!!!

  20. They know what to do with these poor people, tsanabwelele kucheza kapena chitukuko koma kuonga zozipeza basi, moyo ndi chotcho.

  21. Mhesha says:

    If you have personal vendettas against APM just say it but trying to bring back an issue that has been buried after the due process then come out as any of these businesses as usual opposition MPs or good for nothing CSOs.in fact finance minister challenged you to take him to court if indeed he broke any law of the land by selling the bank. Stop the barking if u have credible issues drag him to court. Mmalo momangulima u want the nation to waste much time on trivia?

  22. Keyboard Speaker says:

    You are talking some sense. Malawians we need to do something, but only if relevant institutions like CSO’s, opposition parties, MLS, police etc can warrant our freedom of expression and assembly opposed to 20 July.

  23. BISM says:

    You are right, but look: All DPP supporters (in majority) are supporting their ruler, his decisions whether good are bad,,, so there we go! The truth is, rulers will do what they want, in the name of ‘being better evils’!!!

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