Malawi gets budget support from IMF for first time since cashgate scandal

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) will give Malawi US$40 Million (K29 billion) in direct budget support, the first time this has happened since the cashgate scandal six years ago.

Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development, Joseph Mwanamvekha, disclosed this Saturday afternoon during a media briefing at Capital Hill in Lilongwe.

Mwanamvekha: Thanked Mutharika

Mwanamvekha, who was flanked by the Reserve Bank Governor Dr Dalitso Kabambe and the Secretary to the Treasury Cliff Chiunda, described the disbursement as a sign that IMF has faith in the Government of Malawi’s economic management and policies which have resulted into continued strengthening of this country’s economy in the midst of negative shocks and vulnerabilities.

“As a nation, this approval by the IMF has come at a time when Government and the people of Malawi are focused on a growth path to take advantage of the macroeconomic stability that continue to prevail in this country,” said Mwanamvekha.

He then thanked President, Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika for his stewardship and visionary leadership saying it has taken Malawi to this level of macroeconomic stability.

“Our cooperating and development partners have now trust and confidence in working with Malawi and thereby supporting its development efforts,” he said.

On his part, Kabambe the Reserve Bank Government said the support will ensure that the country’s macroeconomics are well anchored leading to a stable exchange rate.

He also expressed hope that this will catalyse other development partners to pen their taps for direct budget support and other financing.

Development partners led by the IMF suspended direct budget support to Malawi in 2013 following looting of public funds at capital Hill dubbed cashgate.

At least K24 billion was stolen from public coffers when civil servants connived with businesspersons to pay for goods that were not supplied.

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