Chairperson of Malawi Savings Bank (MSB) Debt Collection Company Chadwick Mphande has lamented that nothing has been recovered from the defaulting 13 individuals and companies for the K6.1 million loans they owe MSB because they are using court injunctions to avoid payment. Incidentally, over a year ago Mphande complained about the non-payment of loans from defaulters.
It is unfortunate that these errant companies and individuals have resorted to court injunctions to evade payment. They are not only being ungrateful, but they are being irresponsible not to pay. They failed to repay the loans and government bailed them out. This was abuse of state resources because government has no business paying loans for commercial companies or individuals.It is the responsibility of companies and individuals to pay their own loans not government. They made the bed; they must lie on it.
The staggering K6.1 billion could have been used for development projects to uplift the dwindling living standard of the millions of Malawians. The government actually borrowed the money through issuing promissory notes to clear the toxic loans. This means government got a loan and has to pay interest for these loan defaulters.
We know that some individuals and owners of companies are DPP cronies. So they should not take the bail out as a gift from to DPP. The money belongs to Malawians. They should repay the loans. We also know that every year some companies are natural suppliers of FISP and get billions of kwacha. It defies any reasoning why they should fail to repay their loans with all these billions they make. Malawi Savings Bank was a government bank, a people’s bank, meaning it was owned by the people of Malawi. It was not owned by DPP.
The sale of Malawi Savings Bank itself was done surreptitiously. While MPs were busy debating the capitalization of the bank to meet the Basel II requirement, the Minister of Finance Goodall Gondwe and First Discount House (FDH) Holdings Limited representative Thom Mpingajira were exchanging papers of sale at Capital Hill.
It is unfortunate that these ungrateful companies and individuals have resorted to court injunctions to evade payment. This is abuse of the courts. Government paid the loans on their behalf and they are refusing to pay. What message are they sending? It is equally disappointing that different courts are giving injunctions on the same issue. Injunctions offer temporary relief. But the companies have made it permanent by obtaining injunction after injunction. Is this not trying to defeat justice? If this trend continues, Malawians will lose faith in the judiciary. It is like the courts are aiding the loan defaulters to evade loan repayment.
Mphande should petition the chief justice to have an understanding why courts keep on giving injunctions on the same issue. This is worrying. There is no merit in what these companies are doing. They have no basis to be using the courts to evade payment. They should pay back the money. Period! Why are they refusing to pay? Since 2015 they have not paid anything. Really?
Parliament should step in and summon these companies and individuals to demand answer of their non-payment. MSB Debt Collection Company needs assistance in whatever form to recover the money. It belongs to Malawians. If pressure is not applied, the money will not be recovered.