The story of Finance Minister Goodall Gondwe and former Agriculture Minister Peter Mwanza embroiling themselves in a K1.9 billion loan guarantee from Malawi Savings Bank to some dubious timber company, which has not been repaid until now, is just a latest chapter on how this wholly owned State institution has been used and abused by shameless politicians in the past and present.
Professionally-run banks always do a thorough due diligence before committing any funds to borrowers which, among other things, establishes their paying back ability.
MSB boasts of some of the best talent in the land as far as the banking profession is concerned. It goes without saying, therefore, that this loan to a company that seems to have no offices and address would not have passed any stringent professional test to acquire such a large of money from the bank.
What we have here is a situation where powerful individuals use their positions and clout to force helpless professionals against better judgment to commit money to a worthless adventure, right from the word go.
But we have this to say to Gondwe and Mwanza. MSB is owned 100 percent by the government of Malawi. Any dividends it makes are deposited into Treasury’s Account Number One for its use by its ultimate owners who happen to be the Malawian people.
Any undue influence peddling and meddling in the way the affairs of this bank are managed runs counter to the trust that the people of Malawi have in their elected officials.
Unfortunately it is exactly what Mwanza and Gondwe did and it has resulted in MSB losing big monies thereby affecting its bottom line negatively.
It goes without saying that the State investigating agencies such as ACB have work to do here for MSB belongs to the people of Malawi, we dare repeat. Its abuse by shameless politicians must stop forthwith.