Malawi government has hired British Public Relations firm Bell Pottinger for reputation management following the cashgate scandal that has seen donors withholding budgetary aid.
UK’s The Telegraph reported online that the London PR firm has been hired as “an attempt to boost donor confidence”.
It its first task, Malawi’s government issued a statement through the Bell Pottinger highlighting that the plunder of state resources began under the previous administration of Bingu wa Mutharika and that incumbent President Joyce Banda had consistently spoken out about, and acted on, corruption.
“The message to the people of Malawi, my Government and the watching world is clear; I will stop at nothing to rid this nation of criminality at its highest levels,” President Banda said in the statement.
“I declare that no one, no matter their status, shall receive my government’s protection when evidence demands their investigation.”
Social-political activist Ben Chiza Mkandawire told Nyasa Times that the hiring of PR firm in UK is “reputation laundering” on the put of Malawi government in the wake of corruption scandal.
He said there should no cloak of secrecy over the deal.
Nyasa Times approached Bell Pottinger and Malawi’s Office of President and Cabinet for a response to the contract claim but at the time of publication they had yet to respond.