Malawi: Police arrest ex Finance Minister, Bank Governor over IMF report

By Joseph Dumbula

Malawi Reserve Bank Governor Dalitso Kabambe

Police in the capital Lilongwe have arrested former Malawi Reserve Bank Governor Dalitso Kabambe and former Finance Minister Joseph Mwanamvekha for allegedly presenting false economic figures to International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Police have also arrested former local government Ben Phiri as the registered owner of Beata Investments over fraud and corruption at Ministry of Gender between 2018 and 2020.

According to national police spokesperson, James Kadadzera, the three were arrested separately earlier this week.

‘’The two, while serving as Minister of Finance and Reserve Bank Governor respectively procured and masterminded the falsification of Gross Liability and Net Reserve Base Returns with intent to make the International Monetary Fund believe that the Government of Malawi was meeting conditions connected to the extended credit facility. As a result of this scheme IMF suspended the said extended credit facility to the prejudice of innocent ordinary Malawians,” said Kadadzera in a statement.

Police are also questioning Mwanamvekha over the sale of Malawi Savings Bank (MSB) in 2015 with the police also stating that more people will be arrested on the matter.

The bank was sold in 2015 for K9.6 billion during the Peter Mutharika administration. In the same year, government repaid about K6 billion in toxic loans on behalf of MSB defaulters including Mulli Brothers, with the belief that the borrowers will repay the money to government.

Mwanamvekha served once as the bank’s chief executive officer. He left the role in 2009 and later became Secretary to Treasury in the Bingu wa Mutharika administration between 2010 and 2012.

In 2015 when the bank was being sold, he was Minister of Trade in the Peter Mutharika administration.

Meanwhile, the opposition DPP through Shadreck Namalomba, the party’s spokesperson says the arrests are viewed as political.

“If they are political, then it’s yet another sad day in the history of this nation. We are being reminded of the dark ages of the MCP rule. But because everyone is innocent until proven guilty by a competent court of law, DPP is anxiously waiting to hear the charges that have been levelled against the Honorable Members. We shall then pronounce our official position as a party to the nation,” Namalomba said.


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