4 arrested for damaging Kwacha: Malawi tough on flashing and trampling on bank notes during celebratory events

Malawi Police have confirmed that it arrested four men for wilfully and unlawfully damaging banknotes during a wedding ceremony at  Maziko Garden in Area 47 in Lilongwe.

Malawians urged to stop cash mutilation

The suspects are indentified as Fabiano Kachepa (30),  Lumbani Nyasuly (36), Dustain Maluwaya (63) and Makalani Elisa (25).

Deputy spokesman for Central Region Police Headquarters Patricia Kasuka said the suspects were arrested on Saturday when they were attending a wedding reception in Lilongwe  and  were spotted by police officers as they danced and stepped on banknotes and damaging them in the process.

“They were seen dancing and stepping on banknotes and damaged the notes in the process,” Kasauka said.

The four have since been charged for contravening Section 23 (2) (C) Oof the Reserve Bank Act which prohibits any person from wilfully defacing, soiling or damaging bank currency.

It’s part of Malawian tradition to throw bills around at weddings, bridal showers and other social events as a sign of wealth and good luck.The money that’s been thrown on the floor is then trampled on – often, it’s too dirty or torn to be used again.

But the country loses billions in replacing worn out banknotes, according to the Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) which  has intensified its campaign on proper handling of banknotes through training sessions for master of ceremonies (MCs) to advise the public at celebratory events.

President of the Association of Master of Ceremonies(North) who were recently trained, Martin Chingaipe Nkhoma, said they will urge their audiences against flashing and trampling on bank notes during celebratory events.

RBM director of banking and currency management Mercy Kumbatira is on record as having said the bank loses about K7.7 billion (US$17 million) in importing currency while by January it had far spent over K6 billion (US$13 million) in the notes issued in circulation without including costs of sorting.

She said because of careless handling of the notes, the life span of K20 and K50 is reduced from six months to three months while for larger denominations it is reduced to nine months from two years.

Kumbatira said at the moment the bank spends K23 to buy every note and there are plenty of notes that need replacement.

However, people on the streets blame the bank for putting out notes that are not as durable as those issued in other countries.
Intentional soiling or destroying of currency carries a custodial sentence of up to seven years imprisonment.

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Angela masuku
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Angela masuku

All banknotes in UK Canada r prastic..water proof.. Hardwearng…fireproof tearproof.with a very long life span unfolable

Achalume
Guest
Achalume

kutali?? Botswana and Nigeria they do use polymer notes

Achiswe
Guest

This is ridiculous. The notes must be of very inferior quality. Either put an end to this silly custom and encourage well-wishers at a wedding to give gifts, or produce notes that are more durable. Those small denomination notes are of very little value anyway. Donating bananas would make more sense!

Agenda Setting Theory
Guest
Agenda Setting Theory

Just give them a serious warning. To lock people up for this offense is the abuse of people. May be we should stop giving money at the wedding all together.

Chimphex
Guest
Chimphex

Tiyeni nazoni…tizaone ena muzawamange pama ukwati a ana anu kapena azibale anu…mwaziwa liti kuti ma ukwati tikumaononga ndalama

Make Malawi Great
Guest
Make Malawi Great

You arresting innocent people leaving dpp cadets burning peoples properties and violating basic human rights stupid authorities…

Sunganani
Guest
Sunganani

Alternatively, we should start thinking of celebrating these things without flashing cash all over the place. It’s possible. I mean, how did they celebrate it before the banknotes came into our economy before the colonialists came on the scene? Just saying

ndife
Guest
ndife

Yes police did a good job to arrest the idiots

banki
Guest

Nanuso a reserve Bank tapilizaqni ku phunsinsa anthu zaukuyipa kwa kuwononga ndalama muma ukwati osati ku amanga. Zimene izo sipangisa kuti asiye kupita mu mawukwati. Mukanayimisa ukwati ndikuza anthu zakuyipa koponda ndalama osati ku amanga ayi

Joseph Banda
Guest
Joseph Banda

Maybe they should stop issuing those laughably low values notes. The lowest note in the USA is worth about the highest note in Malawi.

Bystander
Guest
Bystander

Did you you that gas welders are using the old ten kwacha coins for welding. They Knock off the metal in the middle of the coin and use it for welding. Actually they do that so openly. The buy ten kwacha coins for twenty kwacha each. They say it is cheaper than buying welding electrodes. Go and find out.

Wiseman
Guest
Wiseman

After that does the money go back to the public to be used again?

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