Minister of Finance Joseph Mwanamvekha has asked the Bankers Association of Malawi (Bam) for a three-month moratorium on repayment of loans for Members of Parliament (MPs) in the face of Covid-19.
The period being requested is from April to June. MPs get a government-guaranteed loan of at least K50 million each.
Mwanamvekha made the plea in a letter addressed to the association copied to Clerk of Parliament Fiona Kalemba and Reserve Bank Governor Dalitso Kabambe on April 20, 2020.
“It was indicated that a moratorium on a loan repayments will be granted on a case by case basis during the period of the [Covid-19] pandemic.
“It is in view of this that I request commercial banks to grant a moratorium on loan repayments by Honorable Members of Parliament who accessed their loans through the banks,” reads the letter.
But President of the Bankers Association of Malawi Kwanele Ngwenya said he expected individual Members of Parliament to approach their banks if they personally feel the need for the moratorium.
Ngwenya said the MPs are customers of different banks as individuals hence they cannot make a blanket request to all the banks through the Minister.
“I have not received the letter but from what you are saying, what I can say is that the individual Members of Parliament who feel they need the moratorium should approach their banks. They are not customers of one bank so they should go to their individual banks but again I have not seen the letter,” said Ngwenya.
Addressing the nation on Covid-19, few weeks ago President Peter Mutharika directed that the Reserve Bank give a moratorium to the commercial banks who should extend the gesture to their customers.
This Mutharika said was aimed at keeping the economy ticking during the time of the pandemic.