Government of Malawi and the People’s Republic of China Wednesday signed a grant agreement that will see Beijing providing humanitarian food assistance to Malawi and also provide 100 police vehicles.
Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Goodall Gondwe and Chinese Ambassador to Malawi, Wang Shi-Ting signed the agreement on behalf of the two countries in Lilongwe.
According to the agreement China is expected to provide 6 500 tonnes of rice to Malawi valued at an estimated cost of K7 billion and also provide the 100 vehicles to the Malawi Police Service (MPS) valued at K4 billion.
Ambassador Wang said the donation of rice is in direct response to the declaration of Malawi as a state of national disaster made by President Peter Mutharika and the subsequent announcement by Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi that China would provide an equivalent of US$10 million to Malawi to help alleviate food shortage in the country.
“This is a very important donation we are making because people are starving and as it is with the government of China, we are committed to assisting African countries just like Malawi. The first consignment of rice is expected to arrive in the country in three months’ time.
“We hope this donation will go a long way in assisting to alleviate food challenges Malawi is currently facing. However, as China, we will continue to work with the government of Malawi in fighting poverty and assist in any kinds of disasters,’ he said.
He disclosed that the 100 vehicles donated to the MPS include 60 pick-up trucks, 15 saloons, 10 SUVs, 10 vans, three trucks and two buses.
He said the donation comes under the background that Public security is becoming a major concern in many African countries including Malawi attributed to the global and continental economic downturn.
The Ambassador commended government for its strides in fighting crime but said Malawi still faces challenges in the fight due to unavailability of adequate resources.
“Malawian government has been sparing no efforts in combating rising crimes, but lack of vehicles and modern communicating equipment becomes a top constraint. With the purpose of supporting the capacity building of Malawian police and improve its mobility, Chinese government agrees to supply 100 vehicles under grant to Malawian government,” said Wang.
On his part Gondwe described China as a friend indeed saying Chinese aid was coming in Malawi’s time of great need.
“We are very happy to receive this kind of help at this very crucial time. As you know we currently have a very big problem of hunger in the country. Much as we know that this problem will not last long, we however still need food at this immediate moment that any donation of such will be very helpful,” said Gondwe.
On the police vehicles, the Minister said the grant would go a long way in alleviating mobility challenges facing the law enforcers which he said were hampering efforts to fight crime especially in the wake of increased albino killings.
“You know I find it very embarrassing to talk about the problems our country is having with albinos because it is shameful and I cannot imagine that is happening in my own country and obviously it is something that we must stump out quickly and vigorously,” he added.
The Minister pointed out that, “Yes of course, we will prioritize some of these vehicles in combating the crimes against people with albinism…However, much as we are very thankful to the Chinese, we ourselves have to buy more vehicles on top of that because we need a lot of vehicles for police to do their work in this country.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :