Member of Parliament for Rumphi East (People’s Party), Kamlepo Kalua has called for the resignation of President Peter Mutharika, whom he has insinuated in parliament as a “professor of doom” to resign after going ahead selling off the hitherto government wholly owned Malawi Savings Bank (MSB) despite parliament stopping the sale.
Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development Goodall Gondwe told parliament that Mutharika, who had suspended the sale transaction of the bank had announced on Thursday morning that after consultations the sale would proceed.
But Kalua was not amused, saying the House and the nation was ambushed on the matter.
Kalua quizzed: “Does the Minister of Finance tell this House that Parliament has no powers in this case of MSB? And if the Minister is correct that the President announced this morning that the bank should be sold and this morning the bank was sold. Are we fair to the people of Malawi? Is this the President of the people of Malawi?”
He then demanded Mutharika to peacefully step down.
“I am therefore calling for the resignation of Professor Peter Mutharika as the president of this country,” said Kalua receiving applause from the backbenchers.
The Leader of the House Francis Kasaila told the House that a legal opinion by Malawi Law Society indicated that government is the sole shareholder of MSB on behalf of all Malawians and can decide on what to do with these shares.
Kasaila said the decision of the executive to sell MSB is backed by law.
“The executive has those legal powers to decide and the executive has decided [to sell MSB], “said Kasaila.
Earlier, PP leader in parliament Uladi Mussa said Mutharika told the nation that he suspended the sale of the bank and “nowhere did he announce to the public that he rescinded the decision to sale the bank.
He added: “Is the Minister of Finance telling this House and the nation that what the President told the nation was untrue or (a lie), that he suspended the sale?
“He has never come even in any paper, or any media house that he has rescinded the decision to sale the Malawi Saving Bank. Where did he announce that he has rescinded that decision? Was he telling a lie to this country?”
Mussa also said the ruling side is “failing to identify as who is leading this government. “
He asked: “Who is leading this government? We are failing to identify as to who, because Minister of Finance is doing one thing, the President is doing another. Who is leading this government?”
Finance Minister Gondwe dejected accusations of executive arrogance.
“This question of being arrogant should not arise,” he said.
Gondwe said if government were to decide to keep MSB, the Reserve Bank of Malawi would have had “some problems” by the accommodation it would be giving to the bank.
“We had to decide very soon. The resources that we are leaving at the Malawi Savings Bank, we would want to buy back, so that we can actually reconstitute our position at the Reserve Bank of Malawi,” said Gondwe.
“This bank is gone, we should know this. The alternatives that you are talking about would have been alright some ten years ago. It is not now, we do not have the time, and we have to act now,” added the Finance Minister.
Gondwe stressed that the wholly-owned government financial institution “is not there anymore, that is what it is.”
The Malawian government has disposed of 75 percent of its shareholding in the MSB to to Financial Discount House Holdings.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :