Coming under intense pressure from the public, the opposition and civil society on the controversial sale of the state-owned Malawi Savings Bank (MSB) to only preferred bidder FDH Bank of Thom Mpinganjira, President Peter Mutharika has decreed that the process should be halted to allow for continued debate on the matter.
In a statement delivered on Wednsday by Press Secrtary Gerald Viola, Mutharika said he has made the order following the resistance which has come about the sale of the bank.
Mutharika said it was important to learn from the past on how similar transactions have been handled.
“Not too long ago, Air Malawi found itself in a similar situation. There were people who strongly opposed inviting a strategic partner in Air Malawi. There were others who saw the need for that initiative. We argued, quarrelled and rumbled about it. By the time we concluded the transaction, Air Malawi was a mere shell and Government ended up with huge debts to settle,” said Mutharika in a statement.
“Government would like to avoid a similar situation happening in the case Malawi Savings Bank because it would be more detrimental to the interests of the country than was the case with Air Malawi,” he added.
The Malawi leader stated that the country cannot achieve consensus on a matter of this nature, hence seeking the advice of the Regulators of Banks and Financial services.
“Government has a duty not to allow the economy to collapse because of our political disagreements. I am, therefore, calling upon everyone to approach this matter with an open mind. As a Nation, we would do well to follow and take the advice and direction which those familiar and experienced in the field of financial services have pointed to us.
The President stated that his government will review the process of recapitalisation that was undertaken.
“The review will cover all the aspects of the transaction. I am therefore inviting all those who have spoken on this matter including the Members of Parliament, civil society organizations and the experts to come up with reasonable proposals covering all the aspects of the transaction so that we can map the way forward,”he said.
But Malawian citizens are urging the President that his suspension is not far reaching enough; they are demanding full cancellation of the sale and withdraw of government promissory notes to pay off toxic loans of the defaulters, mostly party financiers of his DPP.
Mutharika has been accused of leadership failure if not taking decisive action on problems facing MSB.
Even opposition lawmakers are demanding Mutharika to appear in parliament to face political grilling which will also centre of the MSB .Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :