Cash-Gate: Malawi president sacks cabinet

Malawi President Joyce Banda on Thursday dissolved her entire 25-member cabinet in a move a presidential source said was in response to a multi-million dollar fraud scandal, known as CASH-GATE.

The move was announced by Banda’s office which said she will announce a new cabinet in “due course”.

The treasury and the president’s powerful office have been rocked by a spate of multi-million dollar fraud scandals this year.

“Obviously the sackings have got to do with the ongoing crisis at the treasury,” a source in Banda’s office told AFP.

President Joyce Banda
President Joyce Banda
The European Union warned on Thursday that it will not release 29 million euros ($39 million) in scheduled financing to the aid-dependent nation until the government deals with the fraud.

“There is need for a clean-up before we make our disbursement,” Alexander Baum, the head of the EU mission in Malawi, said in a statement.

In one of the biggest fraud cases ever recorded in the country, the principal accountant in Banda’s office authorised payment of one billion kwacha ($3 million) to a ghost firm, according to the state-appointed Anti-Corruption Bureau.

In another case, a junior officer who earns $100 a month was found with $25,000 cash at his house during a raid by the police.

Ten government employees have been arrested over the past two weeks on fraud charges in the so-called Capital Hill cash-gate scandal, named after the seat of government.

Last month nine senior police officers were jailed for 14 years each for fraud involving $164,000.

Banda, who came to power last year following the sudden death of Bingu wa Mutharika, has come under growing pressure to fire the finance minister and other key government officials.

Around 300 consumer activists on Thursday staged a peaceful march in the administrative capital Lilongwe demanding “immediate” action from the president following the record multi-million dollar fraud unearthed last week.

“We are demanding an independent forensic audit to check into the plunder and the resignation of the finance minister, the accountant general and several senior officials from affected government ministries,” Billy Mayaya, a leading rights activist, told AFP.

The EU is set to release the funds in December to support the deeply impoverished country’s budget, which is bankrolled up to 40 percent by foreign donors.

Donors are “watching with keen interest and the EU will make its disbursement of the pledged budgetary support of 29 million euros depending on how government deals with the crisis,” said Baum.

Since taking charge, Banda has overseen a raft of policy changes in a bid to boost the economy and repair ties with donors.

Her government has vowed to carry out a forensic audit to ascertain the level of fraud and corruption in the public sector.

But the EU is proposing external auditors be hired to do the job because the auditor general’s office cannot be trusted and may not have the capacity to handle it.

“All this massive looting was happening under the very nose of the auditor general’s office and the malpractice was not detected or discovered,” Baum said.

Prosecutors estimate that one third of Malawi’s revenue is lost to fraud and ghost workers.

A top treasury official who was on the verge of busting a corruption ring, was last month shot and seriously wounded by a gunman in what Banda suspects was a targetted attack to silence him.


  1. Suny Lulu

    @ Kaze, all African nations are aids-dependent, none of them qualify as an aids-giver. This is a big shame because with its superabundant natural resources the continent the continent remains largely underdeveloped. We all know the reasons for this and need not be discussed here. There is a dearth of selfless, transparent and honest leaders in Africa. The continent has more than enough supply of people who are always at each others throat jostling for transient power at every opportunity so that they can steal the wealth of their nations! Certainly you are fully aware of the shameful scenario in the house of reps a few days ago, were they fighting in the masses’ interest or in the interest of their tommies?

    Again, there is no clear framework for bringing the culprits to justice in the entire continent as exists in other continents or in a place like China where corruption is punished by death penalty.

  2. authority

    let us ask our self whow is a good Leader? The one who desolved the cabinet becaus of corruption or the one who desolved it because he hav ambition reclaming power in 2015

  3. commonsense

    GEJ will only desolve cabinet if they were opposition.

  4. Kaze A

    Most of the posts here lack the depth of the underlying cause of President Banda’s decision. Malawi depends on aids, and the aids-givers have threatened to withdraw further aid except the president does something about the fraud. I think GEJ can do likewise and appoint Tinubu as Finance Minister, Ikuforiji as Petroleum Minister. Tom Ikimi for Foreign Affairs. Aminu Tambuwal as Governor of Central Bank. El Rufai as Minister of Information. Buhari to Head ICPC. I am sure what the northerners and SW had planted in Nigeria for close to 50 years and had germinated and gone full cycle can be uprooted starting from Alausa. Up APC! The Progressives have spoken!

  5. Augustus

    @Bola,the spiritual mentor of GEJ is it not the same tacitum-like so called revered pastor Adeboye of Redeemed church,no fear jo.

  6. Suny Lulu

    Thank you, mama Africa, for your uncompromising anti-corruption crusade. God will further empower and strengthen you to continue your good work! Remain blessed.

  7. Bola

    This another pointer to look at this from another angle, Banda once said, how she deal with life and respond to need of the less privileged are informed by what she learn from her Pastor and Spiritual mentor Prophet T B Joshua, and if we sincerely check the life style of the Prophet in this direction it worth emulating, so also of President GEJ emulate his Spiritual mentor too, I need not mentioned name.

  8. Teke Teke

    Beautiful comments,can we all show this by voting for the right candidate in 2015?

  9. ol

    if this were to happen in Nigeria, guess what?….. All the people involved would have been pencilled down for national honour. lol. naija i hail ooo

  10. Tiercel

    This is a good development. Kudos to Mrs Banda. You have shown us that women can be better leader than the Cowards of men that have ruled Nigeria. GEJ and the rest should better go for Remedial Classes in Mrs Banda`s School of Leadership. GOD Bless Malawi.

  11. revolutinary answer

    I have said this time without numbers that president Goodluck Jonathan isn’t the messiah that we are waiting for in Nigeria, the reasons are so simple first of all, people are so short-sighted that they couldn’t even remember how this man came to power, although jonathan came to power by accident which is quite similar to the same way Joyce Banda came to power but Jonathan lack leader’s quality he seems weak and surrounded by sycophant who will never which Nigeria good except what will benefit their pocket

  12. Sunnie Nigeria

    Corrupt leadership is really a factor that can speedily and despicably deteriorate national economy. I therefore commend the decision of president Banda, for it’s a right action, at the right time and in the right direction. She is truly a powerful leader that others can emulate. cudos!

  13. emmy

    Political will!

  14. naubiko

    As the saying goes what a man can do a woman can do better. I have a dream that this will happen in Nigeria someday where our president will grow a pair to tackle corruption.
    AMEN and AMEN..

  15. Truthometer

    Our president, Goodluck Jonathan don’t give a damn about things like this. Infact, he hobnob with convicted felons, fraudsters, fugitives and bandits like Diepreye Alamieyeseigha, Bode George, Dokubo Asari, Government Tompolo, Ateke Tom, Buruji Kashamu etc. These are the kind of people parading our corridor of power in aso rock. Maybe the dull fisherman can borrow a leaf from Malawi President Joyce Banda.

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