Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (Escom) and Malawi Savings Bank (MSB) are investigating a fire which burnt down the bank’s automated teller machine (ATM) at Crossroads Agency in Lilongwe on Saturday.
The fire did not spread to any other equipment and reports indicate that the fire started around 7pm when a customer who was withdrawing money noticed smoke coming out of the ATM.
Said an eye-witness: “The customer went out and alerted security officials near the ATM. But before that, he noticed keys at the door to the ATM and thought someone was inside but that was not the case.”
Speculation is rife that an employee of the bank who had access to the ATM might have intentionally caused the fire, but police yesterday said it is too soon to make such conclusions.
A source within MSB said money amounting to K2 million could have been in the machine at that time, but this is yet to be confirmed.
MSB business development and marketing manager Brenda Chilima said the bank was yet to establish the cause of the fire and funds lost in the fire.
Central Region Police spokesperson Ramsy Mushani said the police will come in after Escom and MSB have investigated the cause of the fire.
He said: “At the moment it is too soon to conclude that the fire is the work of an arsonist. Once Escom and MSB officials have finished investigations and issue a report we will take a look at it and act accordingly.”
MSB was previously wholly-owned by the Malawi Government before FDH Financial Holdings Limited bought 75 percent stake in July this year.
FDH Financial Holdings, which also owns FDH Bank, has taken over 14 branches, 41 agencies, 41 ATMS before the Crossroads one burnt Saturday night apart from 588 staff spread nationwide.