Mpinganjira put a spin on donors blast over Malawi aid freeze

Minister of Information Brown Mpinganjira has put a spin on his criticism to Western donors for suspending budgetary support to Malawi after the government exposed corruption, saying he was not lashing at them.

Mpinganjira, a veteran politician and unsuccessful presidential candidate in 2004, said he did not blame donors for withholding aid over the cash-gate scandal.

“Nobody is happy with the cashgate issue and as government we are pleased that donor countries such as Britain are part of the team that wants to root out the loopholes that led to the looting of public funds,” the minister who is also government spokesman is quoted in the Nation on Sunday.

According to Mpinganjira,   at a ceremony to launch a community radio station for Blantyre CCAP Synod,he was only reminding everybody that President Joyce Banda is the one who began the battle against abuse of public funds and that donors are welcome to be part of the solutions to the problem.

 Mpinganjira : Changes tune
Mpinganjira : Changes tune

“I was pleading with the clergy that this country needs prayers because the cashgate scam has affected everybody,” the paper quotes him..

“The donors have asked us to put our house in order and we are doing just that. President Joyce Banda has held the bull by its horns by vowing to deal with anybody in the cashgate scam and we are sure that once this problem is fixed no one will have courage to tamper with public funds,” he said.

Donors under the Common Approach to Budgetary Support (CABS) have said they will not disburse pledged aid until February after an International Monetary Fund review. They have also warned that the next aid tranche depends on government efforts to fight the rampant corruption.

“We will not be able to resume support through government systems until we have a clear assurance, independently verified, that our resources are all being used for their intended purpose,” said Sara Sanyahumbi, a British diplomat who heads the donor grouping which includes European countries, the European Union and the World Bank.

Malawi has been rocked by widespread corruption, losing millions of funds to theft by mostly civil servants which the government blames on financial loopholes.

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