Malawi Government has claimed “making progress” with the investigations on whether the sale of the presidential jet during the PP administration were fuelled by kickbacks and corruption.
Government said it wants to establish the truth about the disposal of the French-made jet to Bohnox Enterprises Limited, a subsidiary of Paramount Group, a South Africa-based defence and military equipment supplier.
The sale of the jet, whose purchase by the administration of former president the late Bingu wa Mutharika was also littered with controversies, raised a number of questions in the way it was sold and as to how the money was used.
The then PP Government initially gave conflicting explanations on the sale of the jet, including how the State had used the proceeds of the jet–prompting some donors such as the United Kingdom, opposition parties and civil society organisations (CSOs) to demand an investigation into the sale.
It however later transpired that the jet was “battered off” to offset a $19 million debt owed to Paramount Group.
The previous administration then further claimed it was not aware that Bohnox was part of the Paramount Group.
The public demanded justice and accountability on the sale of the jet.
“We have been making inquiries on the matter and we are making progress,” Ministry of Finance spokesperson Nations Msowoya is quoted saying in the local press.
He said the arms deal is now being pursued “as part of the wider investigations at the Malawi Defence Force where a company has been identified to audit some contracts while the jet deal is a separate matter.”
Msowoya said government is “ certainly making headway with both investigations”
The Dassault Falcon 900EX jet bought in 2009 cost Malawi almost $22m, a move that angered western donors who claimed that the jet was partly bought using donor funds aimed at uplifting the impoverished citizenry.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :