News / Africa

Malawi Civil Groups Protest Handling of Cashgate Scandal

TEXT SIZE - +
Lameck Masina
— Civil groups in Malawi have launched a new drive called Black Monday to protest the government’s handling of the so-called Cashgate scandal - in which millions in public money was siphoned off by civil servants. Malawians are asked to wear all black attire until the government completes its investigation - which is past deadline.  

The launch of the drive comes after government officials failed to meet a November 30 deadline that the rights group known as Civil Society Grand Coalition set for the government to finalize its investigations into the financial scam.

Voice Mhone is an executive member for the coalition.

“We expect Malawians to start responding to the call for wearing black. Actually every Monday Malawians are urged to put on black until the looting and challenges we are seeing are eradicated," said Mhone.

He says besides the wearing of black attire, Malawians across the country are also asked to honk their car horns, ring bicycles bells and whistle loudly throughout the day.

“We are doing this so that Malawians can wake up and pose a wakeup call to the leadership that Malawians will not be sleeping over these issues because the money belongs to the Malawians. If somebody has broken into your house, you wake up and actually you raise an alarm," said Mhone.

However, the government says it is unfortunate that the civil groups are rushing action on issues which need time to correct.

Brown Mpinganjira is the government’s spokesperson.

“By not adhering to the 30th November [deadline], we are not being arrogant, were not being rude to them, but these are measures that require time. After all, if it was possible all of us would have wanted to finish this so that we know where we stand because after we have cleaned up everything, Malawi will be a better place, it will be corruption free," said Mpinganjira.

Because of the scandal, Malawi’s aid donors have suspended contributions that amount to 40 percent of Malawi’s national budget pending the outcome of the investigations.
   
Mpinganjira says government is doing what it can to wrap things up.

“We are working as a government. You can see what is happening already as people have been taken for questioning, cases have opened; measures have been taken at Capital Hill. So things have begun to happen.  Unfortunately not everything can happen within one day," said Mpinganjira.

Some civil rights groups are opposed to the Black Monday movement, saying the protests don't take into account the progress and strides made so far in the Cashgate investigation.

Bright Kampaundi is the Chairperson of the Forum for National Development

“Black Monday doesn’t really bring anything. I would want to propose that we need to have a White Monday where people should put on white clothes because following the presentation we have heard from Anti-Corruption Bureau and the Police there is progress that is being made. So in support of what is being made, we can propose to have a White Monday where people can actually put on white clothes," said Kampaundi.

Over $250 million is reported missing from the government accounts.  Civil servants, business persons and government officials are among the more than 60 persons arrested so far, and  33 bank accounts have been frozen. Properties suspected to have been acquired dubiously have also been seized.

The British forensic audit team which has been hired to look into government accounts is expected to release its findings in January.

You May Like

Analysts Warn of Regional Proxy Conflict in Afghanistan

Analysts warn if Kabul’s neighbors do not start to cooperate, competing desires for influence could deteriorate into a bloody proxy war in the country More

Saudi Intelligence Chief Replaced

Bandar bin Sultan came under criticism for supporting al Qaida, prompting King Abdallah to wrest Syria operations away from him in February, handing them to Interior Minister Prince Mohammed bin Nayef More

Poetry Magazine editor Don Share talks what makes a good poem with VOA's David Byrd

What makes a good poem? And is poetry as viable an art form as it once was? To find out, VOA's David Byrd spoke to Don Share, the editor of Poetry Magazine. More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid