Britain has described Malawi’s Public Financial Management (PMF) System as a “leaking bucket” that requires serious attention before several donors particularly Britain resumes providing its support.
Permanent Secretary of Britain’s foreign aid wing-the Department for International Development (DFID) Mark Lowcock who visited Malawi this week said Britain also want culture of impunity to come to an end in Malawi.
Lowcock described the cashgate scandal as a big problem that needs to be dealt with to reinstall donor trust.
“What we have said is cash gate is a major problem, and it is a basic problem for people of Malawi, the task payers here whose money was stolen. And two things for us to go about it, the first thing is for a proper series of investigations, a proper judicial process to be taken forward so that concerns others might have about a culture of impunity are effectively addressed” Lowcock told Weekend Nation mewspaper of 20th September, 2014.
He also advised the government to rectify its Financial Management System so that a thing of similar nature [cash gate] will never happen again.
“The second thing that needs to happen, the problems that allowed the theft and fraud; the cash gate to take place are fixed and a proper financial management system, that means a lot of work in financial management. Until those problems are fixed, it will perhaps not be the most appropriate thing for donors to put more money into a leaking bucket,” said Lowcock.
According to Lowcock, the process is for the government to complete and take forward the reforms for the weak financial management system and to take forward the policy thinking on IMF programme.
He said this will allow growth and then, when the donors collectively are satisfied, they put money back and it will be used as intended.
The Britain Foreign Aide Secretary confessed that everyone wants to support Malawi but not in its current stand.
He further said no time frame has been set for the Malawi government to clean up the mess.
Malawi Finance Minister Goodall Gondwe assured the donor community that the government is working tirelessly to make sure that all the irregularities are fine tuned.
He however said the amendments are not being made because of the demands from the donor community but for the good of the Malawi nation.
“I cannot give a timetable on when we will be able to do this but it will happen. However I don’t want to create an impression that we are doing this because of donors, we are doing this for Malawians. This is good for Malawi. Malawians don’t want cash gate to happen again” Gondwe is quoted saying.
Malawi has just implemented a K742 billion zero aid budget with a deficit of K107 billion.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :