Malawi’s Banks thievery reaches stinking levels: poor farmer Ngoleka duped over K2 million by First Capital Bank

BLANTYRE-(MaraviPost)—After toiling for a number of years in his farm, trying to change his economic status, a smallholder famer Mr. Kitmass Ngoleka from Lumbadzi in Lilongwe is in financial abyss as his proceeds amounting to over K2 million cannot be traced in his First Capital Bank Account.

According to information from concerned citizen and well wisher, Onjezani Kenani, on 14 January 2020, after the victim sold his maize, he decided to open a bank account at First Capital Bank, or FCB in short, in Lilongwe’s City Centre.

“In the course of one year, he made deposits – no withdrawal, only deposits – nine in total, and by 4 December 2020, his balance was K2,021,985.34.  All from selling his maize. Then on 5 December, something at the bank happened, according to the bank statements he has shown me. His money disappeared!” narrated Kenani, a man who is known for fighting for justice of vulnerable people.

He added: “On the date the money disappeared, Mr. Ngoleka did not know anything. He was home, waiting, like everyone else, for Christmas. In fact, because of his lack of knowledge about what had happened, he sent his brother, Charles, at the beginning of January 2021, to deposit K100,000, and then his sister, Edna, to deposit K500,000.

“It then turned out that one of the sisters wanted to borrow some money, about K600,000, to inject capital in a business of hers that was going through troubled waters, with a promise to pay back as soon as she was able. For the first time, Mr. Kitmass Ngoleka decided to go to the bank to withdraw the money. In the banking hall, the first thing he wanted to do was to know the balance.”

Kenani says Ngoleka was heartbroken after seeing a balance of K621, 500.61 and he asked the teller in disbelief if what was written was indeed his balance, but the teller emphatically said “That is your balance today.”

After a great of deal of enquiries, the teller printed statement which indicated that money amounting to 2 million Kwacha was withdrawn through airtel money accounts with the following numbers: +265 995 727 359; +265 995 798 051; +265 997 476 978 and +265 995 276 446.

According to investigation by Maravi Post Reporter the numbers belong to Chimwemwe Kennedy, Sanderson, Ndichitenji and Fane Nsamila respectively.

“How was this theft possible without collusion with someone within the bank? With all those know-your-client procedures, how did FCB approve the linkage to all these numbers?” wondered Kenani.

Meanwhile, Kenani has asked law practitioners who are willing to take this case pro bono to quickly coordinate with him so that the poor farmer should seek justice in the court of law.

 There have been cases of Commercial Banks and telecommunications company staff colluding to siphon customers’ money from bank accounts and Airtel money and Mpamba accounts.

People have been pleading with the Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM), as a regulator of commercial banks, to intervene in the nasty deals happening in the banks.

Due to insecurity created in banks by its staff, many people have resorted to Village Banks which appear economically viable and secure.

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