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Reserve Bank of Malawi forex audit report Friday

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Malawians will this Friday know the extent of foreign exchange misreporting which the Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) allegedly undertook between 2017 and 2019 when London-based Ernst and Young releases findings of the audit on the matter, Finance Minister Sosten Gwengwe has said.

The consultants have been working on the audit for the past few months.

The audit report, together with the debt management plan, currently stands between Malawi and the next four-year Extended Credit Facility Programme with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

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In an interview Monday, Gwengwe said the government has been assured that the audit report will be out this Friday.

“Once it is ready, the report will be made public,” the Finance Minister said.

He added that France-based debt advisers Global Sovereign Advisory have concluded developing a 32-page debt management strategy for Malawi.

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Gwengwe said the authorities will discuss the debt plan with the IMF first before making it public.

Briefing reporters in Lilongwe last week, the minister said the first part of the negotiations was successful as Malawi was able to negotiate with the IMF the structural benchmarks of the entire four-year ECF programme.

He said the product of the first round of negotiations is what is called the macro framework.

“I am very happy that, with the team from the fund, we have been able to negotiate all the structural benchmarks and been able to reach an agreement on how the ECF should look like for the four years and the macro framework is negotiated and agreed upon and we do have that one, ”Gwengwe said that time.

He also expressed hope of reaching a staff-level agreement with the IMF soon before the IMF Executive Board meets mid next month.

“In the next one or two weeks, when the two documents are ready, then we will re-engage the IMF again for a staff-level agreement which must be taken to their board on July 18, when our fate can be decided by the board.

“But we are hoping that a staff-level agreement can be reached soon enough once the misreporting audit and the debt plan are put on the table in the next one to two weeks,” Gwengwe said.

Speaking during a media briefing held by the Democratic Progressive Party two weeks ago, both former RBM governor Dalitso Kabambe and former Finance minister Joseph Mwanamvekha claimed they did nothing wrong.

Kabambe and Mwanamvekha said the audit would vindicate them.

Malawi’s last programme with the IMF was cancelled in mid-2020 soon after the Tonse Administration came to power.

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