It is, now, beyond mere rumors that the former Reserve Bank Governor, Dalitso Kabambe, is aspiring to compete for presidency of the country. The first stage, since he seeks to represent DPP in the presidential race slated for 2025 is to contest at the DPP convention. After enduring a turmoil of attempts to escape the convention from July schedule, all indications are that the said DPP is running to one dead end: to hold an NGC meeting intended to endorse a postponed date for the convention. One thing, thus is clear, the convention is nigh.
As one of the aspiring candidates set to compete at the said convention, Kababe is worried about his dirt image that manifested upon his exit from the Reserve Bank. The freshest of his enduring trail of lack of integrity and criminal inclination is a revelation that he has been pocketing salary from a purported employment that he declined.
He has been pocketing such salary for three good years without working for it. It is only this year in April, when one of his prospective contenders at the DPP convention took an issue and questioned Kabambe’s integrity to aspire for an office that demands integrity, that Kabambe reluctantly informed the Government about the anomaly that he has tolerated and benefited for three years without raising a finger. Total lack of integrity indeed!
Worse enough, reputation about his conduct at the Reserve Bank is not any good for his declared ambition. His party-mates with whom he will be entering a race at the convention are prepared to discredit him with his dirt image. And this appears to be a big deal that Kabambe is so worried about. How dirty is this image? Let’s take a look:
Aside from learning of his colourful ambitions, we are also getting to know what manner of irresponsible man he is. In fact, irresponsibility is a huge understatement. You can help us search for a better word.
While Kabambe has not yet said much about his own character in his bid for the presidency, we have greatly benefited from his record as the don of RBM to learn more about it. The thing is, it is an unquestionable scientific proposition that it is impossible to read a man’s mind, but a very well established and acceptable tradition to judge a man’s conduct in the execution of his affairs, personal or official, so as to consequently understand his mind that is, his motives, his fears, his distastes and such like attributes. Thus, Kabambe’s stay at RBM offered us a rare but vital window to understand his character and judge his suitability to the aspired crown of state presidency.
So, what exactly did he do or omit to do that is worth examining? It would appear that quite a lot actually, that is if the 2021 Delloite report is anything to go by. You see; while the public was unsuspicious about Kabambe’s exploits at the RBM, it appears that he was working even harder to illegally stabilize his very own pockets and those of his political masters through abusing and looting public funds at RBM. While this has long been suspected by many, the Delloite report simply finally confirmed the nefarious and clandestine activities that were thriving under his command.
The report offers a chronicle that makes one lose faith in humanity in general. Among others, between 1st January 2019 and 30th June 2020, the following illicit and dubious transactions were made at the Reserve Bank of Malawi:
- 2 billion went out for “building maintenance, rentals, school fees allowances, recall of diplomats” but there are no supporting documents for these transactions. In short, this amount was stolen and Kabambe made a barefooted claim of these expenses.
- 1 billion paid to the Pensions and Gratuity Account without an approved funding instruction from government. FDH Bank is connected to this.
- 5 billion went to FDH Bank in December 2018 and December 2020, which auditors found suspicious.
- 9 billion costs payable to FDH Bank that were not disclosed to the board for approval.
- USD$769 million was disproportionally channelled through FDH Bank.
- K27 billion was paid to top managers who are retiring, who in turn provided K7 billion to the then governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) in whose interest Kabambe has always worked.
- 8 billion paid to various law firms, but auditors did not trace any supporting documents.
- Mulli Brothers Limited (MBL) was irregularly issued with letters of credit to supply fertiliser to the Government.
- One company, Mitra, was awarded two contracts of K1 billion and K757 million contrary to RBM policy. Mitra was also irregularly paid 60% upfront.
- 7 billion was siphoned in January 2020 through dubious purchase of overpriced materials for the Prisons Department worth US$18 million from the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
As you can see, under the watch of Kabambe, RBM was reduced to nothing more than a “village bank” for the ruling DPP and its conduit entities like FDH Bank, legal firms and other business entities like Mulli Brothers. And that was not all.
And it is worth pointing out that all this was done in clear violation of the Reserve Bank of Malawi Act, therefore constituting to criminal offences for which Kabambe and his fellow players in the syndicate must be prosecuted.
To say that what happened here is immoral is a great understatement, it is a crime against the nation of Malawi. And to have the man who orchestrated, coordinated and benefited from this vulgar plunder say that he would one day like to lead this nation is not only an insult to our collective intelligence and but also to our sensibilities of integrity. In effect, he is requesting us to give him permission to even steal our private parts in future. That is more than dangerous!
This affair encapsulates the tragedy of our times. Here we have a well-educated and experienced energetic man who had the rare opportunity to do right but chose, instead, to use his gifts to inflict pain and misery on the people. Perhaps ‘tragic’ doesn’t even begin to describe it. All the same, it appears that mother nature (oh let me say the justice system) has a chance now of correcting this injustice.
As we speak, Kabambe walking with formal charges about his criminal escapades hanging on his head in connection with these dubious transactions.
Now, when you consider all these factors in their totality, that is to say his role in siphoning government funds to sustain the then ruling clique, you get to understand why Kabambe had a larger-than-life character at RBM. Remember the K30,243,023.16 monthly salary that raised eyebrows? How was that even approved without anyone raising an issue? I mean do we really have the Financial Intelligence Agency properly so-called in this country and doing its job?