Malawi government has organised “an open forum” on Monday 22 June, 2015 in Lilongwe where a cross section of people have been put on the attendance list to discuss the Malawi Savings Bank (MSB) controversial sale.
Government, the sole shareholder in MSB, has put the bank up for sale with only one preferred bidder FDH Bank of Thomson Mpinganjira.
The move to sale the bank is said to recapitalise it to meet regulatory requirements in terms of capital in line with Basel II but critics have interpreted it as a bail-out package for politically linked businesses.
Under pressure from opposition, civil society and the media, President Peter Mutharika ordered a suspension of the sale of MSB to allow more public debate on the issue.
A letter dated June 16 2015 signed by Chief Secretary to the government George Mkondiwa, indicates that President Mutharika wishes to accommodate a healthy and constructive dialogue on the MSB recapitalisation.
“Government has organised an open forum involving distinguished technocrats and specialists to soberly consider this important national issue,” reads the invitation letter to one of the civil society leaders.
The letter by Mkondiwa says Mutharika suspended the recapitalisation process following the debate on whether government should divest its interest in MSB, and that there have been strong arguments on both sides.
The wholly State-owned bank, according to the Reserve Bank of Malawi, requires at least K23 billion to meet minimum capital and liquidity levels.