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CSOs want Peter Mutharika’s action on MSB sale

UPBEAT— Blantyre Market Chairperson presents his remarks before Mutharika

The Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) have asked President Peter Mutharika to give strategic direction on how the controversial issue of Malawi Savings Bank should be handled.

Reacting to the CSOs’ call, Presidential Press Secretary Gerald Viola has said Mutharika will soon address this matter through a ministerial statement to be presented in Parliament.

The CSOs led by Centre for the Development of People executive director Gift Trapence, Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation (CHRR) executive director Timothy Mtambo and human rights defender Billy Mayaya called a press conference on Saturday to respond to a statement by the Ministry of Finance on MSB recapitalisation.

“We demand that the president should intervene in this matter. He should make a public statement so that we know the position of government. We are extremely surprised that Malawians are demanding that the bank should not be sold and yet the President is keeping quiet. We want him to respond to this issue of national urgency,” declared Mayaya.

Adding his voice to this demand, Trapence said it is high time the president showed that he is in control by speaking out on major issues that concern the future of this country.

“We know our president very well. When he was Minister of Education, he failed to tackle major issues that concerned this country including the issue of academic freedom. As Malawians we want a kind of President who is able to tackle issues of national importance decisively. We want the President to be in control,” he said.

Commenting on the CSOs demand, Viola said there will be a ministerial statement by the Minister of Justice explaining the position of the president.

“The President has spoken through that ministerial statement; so we should not panic. The president will come out clearly on whether to sell or not to sell the Malawi Savings Bank,” said Viola.

At the briefing, the CSOs made some recommendations including government’s recapitalization of the bank, enforcing the transfer of the current CEO, probe into the bidding process and dissolution of the entire MSB Board,

The CSOs proposes the establishment of a Trust to run MSB and other parastatals,”

The CSOs also recommend that after recapitalising MSB, the bank should be run professional for two years and then sell it through initial public offering and listing on the Malawi Stock Exchange.

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