UK says Malawi must end culture of impunity: ‘Malawi’s financial system a leaking bucket’

Britain has described Malawi’s Public Financial Management (PMF) System as a “leaking bucket” that requires serious attention before several donors particularly Britain resumes providing its support.

Permanent Secretary of Britain’s foreign aid wing-the Department for International Development (DFID) Mark Lowcock who visited Malawi this week said Britain also want culture of impunity to come to an end in Malawi.

Mark Lowcock, permanent secretary of DfID

Mark Lowcock, permanent secretary of DfID

Lowcock described the cashgate scandal as a big problem that needs to be dealt with to reinstall donor trust.

“What we have said is cash gate is a major problem, and it is a basic problem for people of Malawi, the task payers here whose money was stolen. And two things for us to go about it, the first thing is for a proper series of investigations, a proper judicial process to be taken forward so that concerns others might have about a culture of impunity are effectively addressed” Lowcock told Weekend Nation mewspaper of 20th September, 2014.

He also advised the government to rectify its Financial Management System so that a thing of similar nature [cash gate] will never happen again.

“The second thing that needs to happen, the problems that allowed the theft and fraud; the cash gate to take place are fixed and a proper financial management system, that means a lot of work in financial management. Until those problems are fixed, it will perhaps not be the most appropriate thing for donors to put more money into a leaking bucket,” said Lowcock.

According to Lowcock, the process is for the government to complete and take forward the reforms for the weak financial management system and to take forward the policy thinking on IMF programme.

He said this will allow growth and then, when the donors collectively are satisfied, they put money back and it will be used as intended.

The Britain Foreign Aide Secretary confessed that everyone wants to support Malawi but not in its current stand.

He further said no time frame has been set for the Malawi government to clean up the mess.

Malawi Finance Minister Goodall Gondwe assured the donor community that the government is working tirelessly to make sure that all the irregularities are fine tuned.

He however said the amendments are not being made because of the demands from the donor community but for the good of the Malawi nation.

“I cannot give a timetable on when we will be able to do this but it will happen. However I don’t want to create an impression that we are doing this because of donors, we are doing this for Malawians. This is good for Malawi. Malawians don’t want cash gate to happen again” Gondwe is quoted saying.

Malawi has just implemented a K742 billion zero aid budget with a deficit of K107 billion.

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34 thoughts on “UK says Malawi must end culture of impunity: ‘Malawi’s financial system a leaking bucket’”

  1. mona says:

    Nanga za 92 billion za bingu government zili pati

  2. Bonyongolani says:

    Cashgate to be investigated yes , but how about 61illion scandal?

  3. Why do we need someone from oversees to tell us the obvious, then we act????

    At this rate no one will take our country seriously.

    I sometimes ask myself, what would have happened to each and every one involved in cashgate in Kamuzu’s time??? Would this not be justifiable in our time???

    Please let’s wake up. Something very serious needs to be done….

  4. kukukuki says:

    Paja mwati Muli alandira 1 billion Kwacha kikikikikikik. Is this not another version of cashgate? zanu izo my dad told me never waste time with politics because all players rape the same whole our taxes

  5. APM is now in power. He shud expose all names as soon as possible

  6. Ibrah Msosa says:

    Yes the government must clean up the mess

  7. martin nkolokosa says:

    Whatever the donors are saying its good for them, but I as a citizen of malawi its my only wish that one day we have to survive without donors and I guess this is the right time. I know that it won’t be an easy road but if we can work hand in hand plus working harder we gonna survive. Every journey got ups and downs but one day this journey will have a beautifull destination called success,remember it won’t be today or tomorrow BUT years coming.let’s make a future Malawi starting from today.

  8. Sapitwa kakulanye says:

    Let it be. You cannot force someone to donate anything. If donors feel Malawi financial system is a leaking bucket and cannot support, let it be. We wish them well.

  9. MKango Lion Manthakanjenjemereza says:

    Yes Malawi system fails to address financial mismanagement. See until today the National Audit is not independent and also underfunded, and has a man who is not independent as its head Kamphasa, He hid names for cashgate. Central internal audit is not also well funded, What the politician know is to fund ACB. Let us be serious does ACB monitor financial system.No, So all cash gaters be happy for audit will not catch you.

  10. drogba says:

    after all is said, I feel UK is just exaggerating about this cash gate thing for being the reason why they are withholding their aid to Malawi. we all agree that the cash gate was and still remains one of the worst thing that government officials did to our economic downfall, but I think its time to move on. UK please dont make us believe that Malawi is the most corrupt country that ever existed in the world just because if cashgate. I think you’ve over blown it and found it to be your scapegoat. As of this year, we have started implementing a zero aid budget. I know we will struggle to get on our toes but we will try to, as a fledgling young child. we are fighting for a time when we will be completely independent from you all, when we will have peace of mind when using our own resources, not whites’. if you say Malawi is a leaking bucket, I feel that’s not true, you’ve blown it out of proportion just to paint malawi the most corrupt country, tarnishing our image. its true we should put in place measures to avoid this thing happening again, and I think so far, the government is doing as much as it could, within our means. Once again, Malawi is not a leaking bucket, false

    1. patrick says:

      The UK does not think that Malawi is number one problem with money, not at all. In fact, Malawi is respected. The UK is disappointed, a favoured friend letting them down. I know, I live there, and there is much good will.

  11. Muheza says:

    ..malawians do not want Cashgate to happen again….. but as he was speaking, K400 million was being blown on New York honeymoon.

  12. Don Chigwe says:

    Gondwe is pompous so is Mutharika. These two people are responsible for our misery.

  13. Black Market says:

    The biggest problem Malawi has is that It’s Government operates without ICT. If their eGovernment Department was capable, relevant, and vibrant by now they could have sorted out this mess. Cashgate is a symptom of ICT gap. IFMIS is just one of the many problems to professionally look into and close the gaps forever but cluelessness and ict leverage gap is the main issue. Closing IFMIS is very simple.

  14. Maframes says:

    Britain is equally block and this is just an escapegote, what Malawi needs to do is to make proper use of what she has and forget about donors. Malawians should understand that things are never the same hence we need to embrance the culture of self help if that is we need to survive because donors demands and interest shall always be in great conflict with our vision.

    I totally believe that we can sustain our developments with locally generated resource so much there is despline at all levels especial financial systems starting from bottom to top. Government should make sure that all government departments are being audited regularly especially at District levels where I individually believe contribute a lot in siphoning government coffers through dubious means and trasactions like Fuel, Maintainances etc.

    Now as you can see you will probably agree with me that we have whatever it takes to sustain ourselfs so long we put every single tambala we get to good use. May the good Lord see us through this trying times and show us the way out as He did with Jews in so many instances in the Bible!

    God Bless Malawi!

  15. culture of Impunity. says:

    K92 billion nkhani yake yili pati tiuzeni ife a Malawi tiziwe ndi K13 billion, K61 billion ndi K450 million ndiposo maina ama cashgaters mutiuza liti? chifukwa zikakhala pa mzako zimamphweka, boma lisonyeze chamuna pakhani iyi

  16. BLINDED says:


  17. BARNABA SILA says:


  18. Limbika GP says:

    I wonder if our politicians are listening. We need to learn from a very major crisis and come up with lasting solutions. We have too many fly by night politicians who don’t have the interest of our people at heart. The stealing of public resources has been going on since independence but there was no one with guts to tackle it.Now is the time to question the extremely rich politicians who have become so rich with no record of previous employment. We don’t ask the right questions. If a president earns K3000000.00 pa, and suddenly he or she has accumulated billions we need to know where they are coming from. It is just common sense.

  19. edson says:

    ithink nw malawians they will get aresson

  20. Hehede says:

    Britain and other donors don’t give money to DPP. The money will only benefit a few. Mutharika is now in USA with a delegation of 68 people. Is this financial prudence?

  21. nick says:

    People should understand that DFID is the REALLY leaky bucket !! The Malawian government is involved as partner. Despite the brave words of PS Mark Lowcock, Malawi continues to consume three hundred million pounds of UK government aid every year. Only the “BUDGET Support” labels have been changed to “PROJECT support”. The aid money pours into the same rich NGOs and consultants as before !!
    If you are looking for a “culture of impunity”, look at the way DFID operates in UK and in Malawi.

  22. Makito says:

    I am blank when it comes to finance issues. But how long does it take to clean up the mess? JB boasted about busting the cashgate network, promised to deal with it. Peter came to power, assured Malawians he will make public the cashgate report with full names by
    July. Today is September, no body has seen the report. JB and APM seem to have the same binding constraints. Who can help us unravel these please?

    1. nick says:

      The problem my friend is that all the thieves are now in New York

  23. Dadaboma says:

    Britain is right. But Malawi has no responsible government now. DPP created cashgate in the first place. if DPP continued ruling (i.e. if the stupid Bingu did not die), no one would have known of the existence of cashgate. When the previous Reserve Bank Governor told Bingu that money was being siphoned from the govt’s consolidated account in 2010, Bingu just said “I’ve taken note”, and did nothing to address the problem. It took his death and the coming of Her Excellency JB to reveal the cashgate scandal. Now, in the wisdom of the people of Malawi, DPP is back ruling the country. It is clear DPP is not the right machinery to talk to about the need for prudent financial management system, let alone fixing the cashgate scandal which they created. It is therefore clear that the donors, willing to help Malawi as they have always been, will sadly stay away for a considerable length of time at the detriment of poor Malawians. May God have mercy on us.

  24. Malawi says:

    Its an incurable illness. But u can still help. Its a common man who is being affected. Give them money, they go wild with it and forget the challenges the country is facing. Lack of responsibility. Lack of care for its citizen. All they care about is their families and friends. The rest of the pple they dont want to know.

    Pliz do not put money in the bucket as it wont contain it. Am sure there are more willing people in your country who can be trusted to come to do the job of developing this Malawi. Besides, you wont loose that much because the money willl go back to Britain.
    Pliz Britain do not hold the donation. Find a way to help us. Handle the money urselves. Please Help.

  25. Meshow says:

    Donors won’t allow these cats to take care of mice. This is what Pitala and his brother’s DPP are to Malawi’s cash.

  26. Just because you want to make Senzani a state witness mukuti asamangidwe. Mzimayi wa zibwana wakuba ngati ameneyu mukuti asamangidwe? Muluzi akungoyenda ngati mfulu. I thought Peter Muthalika will be as tough as his brother chitsuro cha njanji. Peter has proven to be a very useless man who just was a state funeral basi. The first thing he did was to marry a divorcee whose husband died of unknown causes. Senzani should go to jail basi.

  27. Shepherrd says:

    The local people on the ground are the ones who feel the effects of donor suspension not the elite who can use our hard earned tax money on their lavish life style. So donors here is my suggestion: introduce a system where by you can choose into which area you would like to donate, then pick your choice of a contractor or a supplier and pay them money. We will soon see fruits.

  28. Alungwana says:

    This is really a leaking bucket. No wonder APM goes out to spend more than mk400m.

  29. Fuvung'ondo says:


  30. Taweni says:



  31. Mccarthy says:

    Indeed Malawi its really leaking bucket.

  32. Hori says:

    Dont give us money to avoid the president and his nepotic delegation to spend them

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