News / Africa

Malawi Civil Groups Protest Handling of Cashgate Scandal

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

Anti-Terror Drills Highlight China’s Push Into Central Asia

China, Russia, several central Asian countries wrap up massive anti terrorism military drills in Inner Mongolia More

Erdogan’s First Step: Secure More Power in New Role in Turkey

Erdogan was sworn in as Turkey's first popularly elected president on Thursday; he picked former foreign minister Ahmet Davutoglu as PM More

Pakistan Army Fails to Break Political Deadlock

PM Sharif claims he didn't ask army to defuse crisis; military rejects claim More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ukraine Battles Pro-Russia Rebel Assaulti
X
Daniel Schearf
August 29, 2014 9:30 PM
After NATO concluded an emergency meeting to discuss the crisis in eastern Ukraine, the country is struggling to contain heavy fighting near the strategic port of Mariupol, on the Azov Sea. Separatist rebels are trying to capture the city, allegedly with Russian military help, and Ukraine's defense forces are digging in. VOA's Daniel Schearf spoke with analysts about what lies ahead for Ukraine.
Video

Video Ukraine Battles Pro-Russia Rebel Assault

After NATO concluded an emergency meeting to discuss the crisis in eastern Ukraine, the country is struggling to contain heavy fighting near the strategic port of Mariupol, on the Azov Sea. Separatist rebels are trying to capture the city, allegedly with Russian military help, and Ukraine's defense forces are digging in. VOA's Daniel Schearf spoke with analysts about what lies ahead for Ukraine.
Video

Video Growing Business Offers Paint with a Twist of Wine

Two New Orleans area women started a small business seven years ago with one thing in mind: to help their neighbors relieve the stress of coping with a hurricane's aftermath. Today their business, which pairs painting and a little bit of wine, has become one of the fastest growing franchises across the U.S. VOA’s June Soh met the entrepreneurs at their newest franchise location in the Washington suburbs.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials To Begin Next Week

The National Institutes of Health says it is launching early stage trials of a vaccine to prevent the Ebola virus, which has infected or killed thousands of people across West Africa. The World Health Organization says Ebola could infect more than 20,000 people across the region by the time the outbreak is over. The epidemic has health experts and governments scrambling to prevent more people from becoming infected. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Asian Bacteria Threatens Florida Orange Trees

Florida's citrus fruit industry is facing a serious threat from a bacteria carried by the Asian insect called psyllid. The widespread infestation again highlights the danger of transferring non-native species to American soil. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Aging Will Reduce Economic Growth Worldwide in Coming Decades

The world is getting older, fast. And as more people retire each year, fewer working-age people will be there to replace them. Bond rating agency Moody’s says that will lead to a decline in household savings; reducing global investments - which in turn, will lead to slower economic growth around the world. But experts say it’s not too late to mitigate the economic impact of the world’s aging populations. Mil Arcega has more.
Video

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

The United States along with European and Mideast allies are considering a broader assault against Islamic State fighters who have spread from Syria into Iraq and risk further destabilizing an already troubled region. But as VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports, confronting those militants could end up helping the embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Video

Video Made in America Socks Get Toehold in Online Fashion Market

Three young entrepreneurs are hoping to revolutionize the high-end sock industry by introducing all-American creations of their own. And they’re doing most of it the old-fashioned way. VOA’s Julie Taboh recently caught up with them to learn what goes into making their one-of-a-kind socks.
Video

Video Americans, Ex-Pats Send Relief Supplies to West Africa

Health organizations from around the world are sending supplies and specialists to the West African countries that are dealing with the worst Ebola outbreak in history. On a smaller scale, ordinary Americans and African expatriates living in the United States are doing the same. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video America's Most Popular Artworks Displayed in Public Places

Public places in cities across America were turned into open-air art galleries in August. Pictures of the nation’s most popular artworks were displayed on billboards, bus shelters, subway platforms and more. The idea behind “Art Everywhere,” a collaborative campaign by five major museums is to allow more people to enjoy art and learn about the country’s culture and history. Faiza Elmasry has more.
Video

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video India’s Leprosy Battle Stymied by Continuing Stigma

Medical advancements in the treatment of leprosy have greatly diminished its impact around the world, largely eliminating the disease from most countries. India made great strides in combating leprosy, but still accounts for a majority of the world’s new cases each year, and the number of newly infected Indians is rising - more than 130,000 recorded last year. Doctors there say the problem has more to do with society than science. Shaikh Azizur Rahman reports from Kolkata.

AppleAndroid