Name and shame the thieves in K577bn Malawi cashgate

Economics Association of Malawi president Henry Kachaje wrote in a certain forum this week that in basic terms, the Extended Credit Facility (ECF)—Supported Programme is like an economic drip that the IMF puts on ‘‘economically sick nations’’ to help them recover. The ECF mainly supports the balance of payments (BOP).

Kachaje: Talks of the ICU

Kachaje: Talks of Malawi economic drip in ICU

It is a form of financial assistance to countries with protracted BOP problems, aimed at helping them move towards a stable and consistent macroeconomic position consistent with strong and durable poverty reduction and growth.

Kachaje urged Malawi to be discharged from the IMF ICU it has been frequently admitted to during the past 52 years. He exclaims that being declared back on track with the IMF-ECF should never be a cause for celebration, for this basically means a patient who is back in ICU.

What Malawi must aim for, argues Kachaje, is for a full recovery and discharge. Malawi must join the likes of Mozambique, Tanzania and Rwanda on the African continent that were discharged from the IMF-ECF. He strongly believes that the country can do it.

‘‘Let this be our final time in the ICU. This will be possible if you and me double or treble or quadruple our productivity and economic output,’’ he concludes. I cannot agree more with Kachaje.

He must have been referring to congratulatory messages from ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) that the State-controlled Malawi Broadcasting Corporation has been running congratulating the President and government following last week’s announcement by the IMF that Malawi is back on track the IMF-ECF programme. The development means that in the next two months, the country will qualify for a $30 million credit facility from the Breton Woods institution (the IMF-drip).

The congratulatory messages on government are nothing but a public relations stunt on its finance management reform programme. It’s like government patting itself on the back for doing what it is supposed to do.

Government should actually aim at fighting the devil that is domiciled among its rank and file that are wreaking havoc to the public pulse. This devil is well known. It is the continued looting of the government resources by no other than government employees themselves.

It is a well-known fact that 30 percent of the country’s budget goes down the drain unaccounted for. As far back as 2002, the then director of Public Prosecutions Fahad Assani pointed this out. Twelve years later, the Baker Tilly forensic audit report revealed that within six months—between April to September 2013—the national pulse was looted as much as K24 billion by civil servants and business people.

As we all know, this was just a tip of the iceberg as an investigation by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) data analysis report would reveal in 2015 that a jaw-dropping K577 billion could not be reconciled in government’s bank statements between 2009 and 2014. Wasn’t this more than a third of the national budget during the mentioned period? Malawians are waiting with baited breath for the outcome of a forensic audit report on this. Thanks to our development partners who are bankrolling a forensic audit currently underway on the PwC report.

Now, if donor aid constitutes 40 percent of the country’s national budget and 30 percent of it (the national budget) is stolen, does it not mean that we only need 10 percent assistance for the national budget if we stopped the looting of the national budget which donors have on several occasions described as a leaking bucket?

Kachaje has talked about the need to redouble, treble or even quadruple our productivity. Surely if we did this it would not be difficult to be discharged from IMF-ICU. All we need is to pluck a leaf from Mozambique, Tanzania and Rwanda which have waved goodbye to the IMF-ICU. Kill the thieving spirit and corruption which are so entrenched in high places.

The starting point is for government to expedite the forensic audit on the K577 billion. Name and shame the thieves. Without doing that we will continue celebrating getting admitted to the IMF ICU. Shame on us!

  • The articles appeared in the Weekend Nation newspaper.
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Mr. Blue
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Mr. Blue
5 months 26 days ago
Wise on from the east compares apples and oranges and pretends they are the same thing. It is clear the government intends to open development financial institutions. These are not the same thing as a commercial bank e.g. MSB. Hence why the discussion and conclusions to put it politely are spurious. But when you are hell bent on hating and criticising, even the simplest of task like using a search engine to find out what the difference between different types of banks is can and will be inevitably overlooked. So Ze Roberto before you buy into WfE article please find… Read more »
Zoona
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Zoona
5 months 26 days ago

Criticising is very simple my brothers abd sisters let the Kachajes show the way by practically doing it. Text book economics is what it is very very simple. All Kachaje is writing is what every economist and educated person already know. The question is what and how to move out of our poverty. Mr Kachaje pse Kamuzu Banda did not leave this country a rich nation no. He was lucky because the west gave us support to prevent us from going to either Russia or China nothing else.

Zilani
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Zilani
5 months 26 days ago
This govt will never ever conclude the K577bn looting report just bcoz, 90% cabinet is in it. They are busy covering up the loot. Just recently, they defeated the amendment to appointment of ACB chief by president. Very strategic on corruption. Remenber the circumstances surounding the sale of MSB. Bank’s toxic loans funded the 2014 campaign. When malawians want to know what happened and what will be happening, they slice up the Access to Public Information Bill into meaningless pieces of words. When some suggest a revolution, they arrested for treason. All these actions are aimed at intimidating those who… Read more »
Patriots
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Patriots
5 months 27 days ago

As long 577billion is wept under the rug there be no forensic audit. APM camp is not ready to shame the game and they’ve got interest in this saga. Malawi will never move forward if we continue concealing skeletons in the closet period! Intergrity# Transparency #

SIR JOHN CHAULA
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SIR JOHN CHAULA
5 months 27 days ago

The truth hurts as it is repeatedly said kachaje they dont like ur digest bcz they think u r eyeing for presidency

wewe
Guest
wewe
5 months 27 days ago

ok

Ze Roberto
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Ze Roberto
5 months 27 days ago
Even a standard 2 pupil can give the answer to this problem. How can thieves make their own arrest? The DPP government is the thief. Just imagine what we read in the article by Wise One from the east where we learn that the DPP government is in the process of establishing two commercial banks to be run by government yet just a year ago MSB was dubiously sold with the same DPP government saying that it’s not government business to run banks ? What other high level systematic corruption do Malawians especially tax payers want to see to trigger… Read more »
The Analyst
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The Analyst
5 months 27 days ago
O……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..O . . . and I quote . . . “The starting point is for government to expedite the forensic audit on the K577bn . . . then name and shame the thieves. Without that . . . shame on us.” – (Last paragraph) Surely anybody should know that this is a joke . . . ! . . . Munthu yemwe amachita manyani ndiye yekhayo ali ndi nzeru za umunthu (intelligence or wisdom is a sine qua non for a feeling of guit or shame). If you look around, do you see such traits in these people (whoever it… Read more »
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