Malawian people are on the verge of paying back huge sums of money to an international lending organisation for fabricating figures and lying on economic situation and now it is time to pay the price for the erstwhile regime.
The ousted Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has given Malawians yet another ‘middle finger’ and this time around, the party’s love for clandestine under-dealings and deceit, risks costing innocent and unsuspecting Malawian taxpayers some $58 million (about K50 billion) in a potential refund to the now vexed global lender, the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
Nyasa Times sources at the Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) have confided in us that as a way of painting a rosy picture to the Fund, through the previous IMF-supported program, the Extended Credit Facility (ECF), the DPP government was sugar coating misreporting the country’s foreign exchange position figures just to portray to the IMF that the country is performing well ‘economically.’
Said our source: “It is a very sensitive issue and in simple terms, the bank was lying to the IMF books in its reporting, more especially about forex reserves.
“It is a serious scandal with the IMF. Apapa la fote lakwana [the genuine truth has now been unearthed to Malawians.”
He added: “The way forward about this issue is twofold, either we will refund an estimated $58 million to the fund or sweat by convincing the Fund about possible remedial measures to correct the situation and after coming up with the remedial measures, the Fund takes the matter to its Board of Directors for consideration and It’s not as easy as most Malawians perceive this matter.”
We gather that the previous government misreported several times on Gross Reserve Assets (GRA) and Net International Reserves (NIR), for the period 2018 to 2019 and the IMF has just discovered such mischief.
Suspicious with such DPP naughtiness, the IMF has over the past year been reluctant to resume its program, ECF that is always key in entrenching macroeconomic stability, preserve debt sustainability, and advance governance reforms among countries with protracted Balance of Payments (BoP) challenges.
BoP is simply a record of transactions by a particular country with the rest of the world and is an important economic indicator.
On Monday evening, IMF did not hide its frustration and rage over DPP’s concealed and nauseating conduct.
IMF’s African Department Abebe Aemro Selassie spoke plainly, telling reporters during a press briefing in Lilongwe that what DPP did was a breach of an oath of the fund.
“The IMF takes misreporting cases seriously, and in this regard, I appreciated the authorities’ efforts in delivering on the corrective actions,” said Selassie.
Selassie, therefore, described the misreporting scandal as ‘legacy issue’, which the Tonse government is currently resolving with the IMF before the proposal for the new ECF Programme is presented to the IMF Board.
“I, therefore, commend Tonse government on their on-going efforts to combat corruption and enhance transparency and accountability in the use of public resources.
“We also exchanged views on the concerted efforts that are being taken to tackle the Covid-19 pandemic, which has caused hardship to Malawians.”
Selassie, who also met President Lazarus Chakwera yesterday morning, also discussed at length the reform options with the Malawi leader that are required to address the country’s challenging macroeconomic situation, owing to DPP’s misfiring economic policies.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :