The immediate past Governor of the Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM), Dr. Dalitso Kabambe, seems to have wrongly leveraged his position to plough his political ground.
The Forensic Report into RBM Operations, which was released in April this year, exposes a fraud that he committed by taking K28 million from the central bank out of which he used K8 million to construct a bridge in his home District of Thyolo. The difference between K28 million and K8 million will make an interesting court session.
One would quickly suggest that Kabambe was demonstrating ‘his caring’ for his people as he noted that he needed their support to establish his base support as he calculated to contest for DPP presidency at the party’s convention, with an ultimate aim of competing for the State Presidency come 2025. Charity begins at home from where political support also begins.
While embarking on his colourful ambitions, the nation is also getting to know what manner of irresponsible man he is. His record as the don of RBM has declared Kabambe a man bankrupt of morals and unfit for public office.
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 unsuitability to the aspired crown of state presidency.
As an important reminder, the April Delloite report exposes nefarious and clandestine activities that were thriving under Kabambe’s command at RBM. Among nasties, 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 that never occurred, staff rentals that were exaggerated, school fees allowances for kids and dependants of the Who’s Who of the institution, among others.” Kabambe made a barefooted claim of these expenses as there are no supporting documents to support the claimed transactions.
- 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 were due for retirement. It is established that these people could, in turn, provided K7 billion to the then governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) in whose interest Kabambe has always worked.
- K8 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. Curtsey of Kabambe executing the mission of the cartel.
- One company, Mitra, was awarded two contracts of K1 billion and K757 million contrary to RBM policy. Mitra was also irregularly paid 60% upfront. To demonstrate that this contract was irregularly awarded on waves of corruption, the ACB has recently stopped the RBM from proceeding with this contract after the institution lost a court case that was dealing with issues related to the same contract.
- 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). Do you remember the procurement scandal of steel plates and cups that costed US$3.3 million? Do you remember the slippers, whistles and neckties that costed US$390,300? What about the socks that costed US$732,000 and many more ridiculous procurements that were exposed by the Delloite report? That’s what we are talking about.
As you can see, under the watch of Kabambe, RBM was reduced to nothing more than a “village bank” for the DPP and its conduit entities like FDH Bank, legal firms and other business entities like Mulli Brothers and One Guard FZE.
And it is worth pointing out that all this, including the K28 million out of which he used K8 million to construct a bridge in Thyolo, was done in clear violation of the Reserve Bank of Malawi Act. He bypassed the RBM Board. He positioned himself as the alpha and omega of all authority at RBM. He was the mighty one. In that sense, therefore, his conduct constituted criminal offences for which he and his fellow players in the syndicate must be prosecuted.
To say that what happened RBM is immoral is a great understatement, it is a crime against the nation of Malawi. A crime against the people of Malawi. A crime that can only be settled by the Courts. 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. 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. And he is, perhaps banking on the notion that “aMalawi sitichedwa kuyiwala”, asking for a chance to be in a highest political office of our raped country. Perhaps ‘tragic’ doesn’t even begin to describe it. All the same, it appears that mother nature is on the verge of correcting this injustice.
Author: Ian Sean Chilunga
Edited By: Innocent Marshall