Opposition members of Malawi Parliament (MPs) today ambushed Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development Goodall Gondwe to explain developments surrounding the disposal of the wholly State owned Malawi Savings Bank (MSB).
The MPs made the queries as Gondwe was responding to questions during today’s question time which run into the second half of the day’s sitting.
Salima North West MP Jessie Kabwila (Malawi Congress Party-MCP) stirred the hornet’s nest when she told Gondwe that she had information that the sale of the bank would be finalised this Wednesday, but there has been no explanation from the minister on what has transpired.
Kabwila was especially angered that government had not informed the House on the decision to bail out some borrowers who created toxic assets in the bank’s loan book before the sale, some of which belong to political allies of the current Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) administration.
She said: “We are prepared to do anything until we have satisfactory answers. We want some answers!”
In response, Gondwe apologised for not appraising the House of latest developments saying this was as a result of the injunction which some MSB staff members obtained against the sale but has since been vacated.
He said he has since requested the leadership of the House to give him time to make a statement on the history of the MSB sale and what it means to replace toxic assets with promissory notes.
“But almost three quarters of what is being said does not contain actual facts. But the honourable member is the first person to tell me that this thing will be sold. I will be the first person to know that,” Gondwe said.
He also hinted at consultations currently taking place, prompting Kabwila to ask if the sale would not go ahead until these are completed.
More in tomorrow’s THE NATION