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

Katrina Brought Enduring Changes to New Orleans

The city’s recovery is the result of the people and culture the city is famous for, as well as newcomers and start-up industries More

China to Open Stock Markets to Pension Funds

In unprecedented move, government to soon allow local pension funds to invest up to $94 billion in domestic shares More

Magical Photo Slides Show Native Americans in Late 1800s

Walter McClintock spent 20 years photographing the Blackfoot Indians and their vanishing culture at the dawn of the modern age More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalatesi
X
August 27, 2015 2:08 AM
Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Is China's Economic Data Accurate?

Some investors say China's wild stock market gyrations have been made worse by worries about the reliability of that nation's economic data. And some critics say the reports can mislead investors by painting an unrealistically-strong picture of the economy. A key China scholar says Beijing is not fudging ((manipulating)) the numbers, but that the economy is evolving quickly from smoke-stack industries to services, and the ways of tracking new economic activity are falling behind the change. V
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Shipping Containers Provide Experimental Housing

Housing prices around the San Francisco Bay area are out of reach for many people, so some young entrepreneurs, artists and tech industry workers are creating their own houses using converted shipping containers. But as VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Oakland, the effort requires ingenuity and dealing with restrictive local laws.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video Technique May Eliminate Drill-and-Fill Dental Care

Many people dread visiting dentists because they're afraid of drills. Now, however, a technology developed by a British firm promises to eliminate the need for mechanical cleaning of dental cavities by speeding a natural process of tooth repair. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.
Video

Video French Experiment in Integrating Roma Under Threat

Plans to destroy France’s oldest slum have sparked an outcry on the part of its Roma residents. As Lisa Bryant reports from the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, rights groups argue the community is a fledgling experiment on integrating Roma who are often outcasts in many parts of Europe.
Video

Video Kenyans Turn to Agriculture for Business

Each year Kenyan universities continue to churn out graduates for the job market despite the already existing high rate of unemployment among youth in the country. Some of these young men and women have realized that agriculture can be as rewarding as any other business or job, and they are resorting to agribusiness in large numbers as a way of tackling unemployment. Rael Ombuor reports for VOA.
Video

Video First Women Graduate Elite Army Ranger School

Two women are making history for the U.S. Army by proving they are among the toughest of the tough. VOA's Carla Babb reports from Fort Benning, Georgia as 94 men and those two women rise as graduates of the difficult Ranger school.

VOA Blogs