Malawi businessman Elvis Naserebo faces deadline to refund Speaker of Parliament Esther Mcheka Chilenje

A businessman in the South-Eastern African country of Malawi—Elvis Naserebo—and an accomplice posing as a pastor, are ordered by Police

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Photo: Esther Mcheka Chilenje/Facebook

A businessman in the South-Eastern African country of Malawi—Elvis Naserebo—and an accomplice posing as a pastor, are ordered by Police to refund $18,300 to the former speaker of the Malawian parliament—Esther Mcheka Chilenje—by today.

The former parliamentarian borrowed from loan sharks to pay for a lease of a Naserebo-owned property for her private school. The property was, however, already leased to another tenant who subsequently took court action to defend their 10-year lease.

Ms. Mcheka Chilenje is unlikely to see full repayment. Naserebo has already been given an extension. The case highlights the rampant corruption in Malawi and the wider southeast-African region. The region is the lowest ranking globally on Transparency International’s corruption perceptions index with an average score of 32/100. This perception is a barrier to investment as the regional economy continues to reel from the COVID-19 pandemic as governments struggle to control leaks of public procurement and the misappropriation of emergency pandemic funds.

This increases the risk of public unrest and protests in the near to medium-term as misappropriated funds for vaccines and hospital treatment limit proper healthcare for the population. Expect increasing pressure on Malawi’s rigorous but under-resourced Anti-Corruption Bureau given the ongoing delays in prosecution.

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