Malawi arrests 2 former cabinet ministers, former central bank governor

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Malawi police have arrested former governor of the Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) Dalitso Kabambe and former Finance Minister Joseph Mwanamvekha for alleged abuse of office, authorities said.

Former Minister of Local Government Ben Phiri has also been arrested for alleged corruption and fraud during his term of office, and Malawi Police spokesperson James Kadadzera confirmed the arrests in a statement released on Tuesday.

While in office, the former RBM governor and the former finance minister “respectively procured and masterminded the falsification of Gross Liability and Net Reserve Base returns with intent to make International Monetary Fund believe that the Government of Malawi was meeting conditions connected to the Extended Credit Facility (ECF),” the spokesman said in the statement.

According to Kadadzera, the alleged scheme led to the IMF suspending the ECF “to the prejudice of innocent ordinary Malawians.”

The statement also indicated that more arrests will follow and that the former finance minister, and those yet to be arrested, will be questioned in connection with fraudulent sale of Malawi Savings Bank, a government entity, in 2015.

On the arrest of the former local government minister, the police statement said Phiri, as registered owner of a local firm called Beata Investment, was involved in fraud and corruption.

Phiri is also suspected to have committed some procurement fraud and corruption at the Ministry of Gender between 2018 and 2020, according to the statement.

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