Power vacuum at Reserve Bank of Malawi

The tendency of Malawi President Bingu wa Mutharika not to appoint some crucial deputy heads of government sections and departments is being felt at the Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM).

The President, who is yet to also appoint Deputy Inspector General of police,  is supposed to appoint two new deputy governors at RBM.

Sources from Ministry of Finance say the leadership vacuum has left central bank members outnumbered by government representatives at Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meetings.

Nkosi: The only permanent MPC member

They said the vacancies mean operations of the financial sector regulator are also under pressure.

“Delays in replacing deputy governors at the Reserve Bank of Malawi has created a number of empty seats at the monetary policy committee meetings,” said the sources.

During MPC meetings only two members of the central bank are present which technically affect voting patterns.

Despite a recent shake-up at the central bank, which saw Henry Mathanga, head of the financial institutions department, swap places with Joseph Milner, head of Exchange Control, two of the three deputy governor positions still remain vacant.

Mary Nkosi, deputy governor of operations, is the only permanent MPC member with Grant Kabango currently serving as acting general manager and deputy governor of economic services.

The departure of Tobias Chinkhwangwa, a former deputy governor of supervision of financial institutions, from the central bank has left another seat unoccupied.

Under the Reserve Bank of Malawi Act of 1989, the governor and the deputy governors of the central bank are each appointed by the Head of State for a term of five years and are eligible for reappointment when their term expires.

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