MPs to rekindle Malawi Savings Bank sale debate


The Legal Affairs Committee of Parliament has said its report to be presented during 2015 / 16 Budget Meeting which starts Tuesday will spell out its resolutions on the controversial sale of the Malawi Savings Bank (MSB).

The bank’s sale process was halted after its employees obtained a court order against the decision.

In an interview yesterday, the chairperson of the committee, Peter Chankhwantha said they have been meeting different stakeholders on different legal issues including the MSB sale, re-demarcation of constituencies, electoral law reforms and slow progress in compensating victims of the government agencies’ abuses.


The Budget and Finance Committee of Parliament also said it is consulting various stakeholders on the same and it is also expected to say something during the same meeting.

“We are taking to Parliament different issues including the issue that you already know is in the public domain-the issue to do with the sale of the Malawi Savings Bank,” he said.

As the battle over the sale of state owned Malawi Savings Bank continues in court, many citizens have taken to the social media to express their anger at government’s decision to pump K6.07 billion into the troubled financial institution.


The public rage was triggered after leaked documents authored by Secretary to Treasury Ronald Mangani indicated that Capital Hill issued a promissory note to the limping bank as a short term solution to help the bank remain afloat.

In a letter dated April 20, 2015 titled Malawi Savings Bank Limited Toxic Assets as at 31 March 2015, addressed toMSB Chief Executive Officer Ian Bonongwe, Mangani advised the MSB chief on how Capital Hill intends to handle the toxic assets.

“I write to inform you that government has resolved to hive off MSB toxic assets amounting to K6.074,773,871.70 and to replace them with a promissory note. In this regard, I have already requested the Reserve Bank of Malawi to issue that promissory note for this purpose,” reads the letter in part.

Government’s intervention has been heavily criticised as it is seen as writing off loans for private companies and businesses which are still operational. People are also questioning as to why MSB or the government is failing to take over the securities which the companies offered in exchange of the loans.

Besides the controversial issue of the MSB, the Legal Affairs Committee has also said that it will present its recommendations on other issues.

“We are also mindful there will be issues to do with the delays by the Malawi Electoral Commission to start the demarcation exercise and also carry out electoral law reforms. So as a committee we want to express some of the resolutions that we have come up with, regarding such issues,” Chankwantha said.

He said the committee has been meeting with different legal affairs stakeholders including the Attorney General (AG) who was summoned to explain some issues to do with compensation to people who suffer injustice at the hands of the government.

“We invited the AG because we received some concerns from members of the public that it appears that the office of the AG is in the forefront doing the preferential treatment when it comes to compensating the victims who have suffered in various ways under the eye of the state.

“Most of the members of the public would challenge the government on various issues. They will take the case to court and indeed the court would deliberate on the case and come up with the judgement. In most cases where judgment is not in favour of the executive, we expect some sort of compensation coming from the government but people have complained that it takes a long time for one to get such money from the executive.

He said the AG told the committee that the government has not put in place specific criteria to be followed in the compensation process which, according to the committee, can breed corruption.

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