‘MSB first, budget second’ declaration courts controversy
A declaration by a Malawi Congress Party (MCP) member of Parliament that the issue of the proposed sale of Malawi Savings Bank (MSB) should be sorted out first before the national budget courted controversy in Parliament Friday.
Lilongwe South West MP, Peter Dimba, was contributing to a debate on State of The Nation Address President Peter Mutharika delivered in the House.
In his contribution, Dimba, who focused on corruption, said government has to rescind the decision of selling Malawi Savings Bank (MSB) or face hurdles during this year’s budget scrutiny.
“Mr Speaker Sir, let it be known to you that we will not allow this madness to continue. MSB corruption scandal should be sorted out first before we even start to discuss the budget. Government will have to rescind this theft otherwise the finance minister will dance with the budget in the august House,” Dimba said.
He also faulted government for issuing promissory note of K6 billion to the Bank.
“Mr Speaker sir, we all thought we were dreaming last week when we woke up to the news that government that claims it has no money to recapitalise MSB with K4.5 billion had instructed Reserve Bank of Malawi to issues promissory note of K6 billion, hiving off toxic loans, K5 billion of which belongs to Mulli, a key DPP financier. What this literally means is that the tax payer is paying on behalf of Mulli and other 12 private defaulters as though they were declared bankrupt,” Dimba said.
In his contribution, he referred to the sale as robbing Malawians of their bank.
The word ‘robbing’ did not go down well with Leader of the House Francis Kasaila.
Speaker Richard Msowoya ruled the word out of order, but Dimba changed it to ‘taking the bank from Malawians without their consent’.
Minister of Lands, Paul Chibingu, accused Dimba of speaking like Leader of Opposition.
“He is out of order for speaking like Leader of Opposition. We know between 2005 and 2009 there was the issue of Section 65 first and budget second,” Chibingu said, attracting laughter from both sides of the house.
Following continued concerns over issues that Dimba raised, which among others included calling president Mutharika, Finance Minister Goodal Gondwe and Reserve Bank Governor Charles Chuka, as masterminds of the sale of the bank, the Speaker asked Dimba to bring evidence on the allegations to the House on Monday.
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