Malawi renegotiates $145m arms deal with Paramount: ‘We are better all eating’

Malawi government set to renegotiate a deal worth $145 million (about K58 billion)  with Paramount Group, Africa’s largest private defence and aerospace firm, which signed deals with the Malawian government for agriculture, fuel and military contracts through a network of investment firms.

Finance Minister Gondwe: Deal not cancelled but renegotiated

Finance Minister Gondwe: Deal not cancelled but renegotiated

Finance Minister Goodall Gondwe said earlier it had cancelled the deal with Paramount Group, which was engaged, under the previous Joyce Banda administration, to supply military equipment to Malawi Defence Force because it was “illegal and expensive.”

But now government has revisited the issue and instead of cancelling, they will renegotiate, Attorney General Kelekeni Kaphale confirmed.

Malawi government is reported to have convened a meeting involving officials from Paramount Group and Gondwe, Governor of the Reserve Bank Charles Chuka and Attorney General Kaphale after noting legal pitfalls in the deal.

Gondwe told Paramount Group during the meeting that the whole transaction was “illegal and unsustainable” and that the minister of finance was bypassed.

Under that agreement, Paramount Group was to supply wide-ranging equipment to establishments under the Malawi Defence Force. The total bill amounted to $145 million at the time, which under the current rate is about K58 billion.

Paramount also signed a deal with Malawi to provide seven interceptor boats to patrol Lake Malawi.

It is also linked to the sale of Malawi presidential jet, the Dassault Falcon 900EX  which was bought by Bohnox Enterprises, a firm registered in the British Virgin Islands, and sent to South Africa, where it is loaned to VIPs by the jet company Fortune Air.

“ We will just renegotiate some of the contracts,” said Kaphale as quoted in the local press.

When Malawi cancelled the deal, Paramount Group released a statement, describing the termination of the contracts as untrue.

Under the contracts, Malawi was supposed to pay the supplier $5 million (K2 billion) quarterly.

Paramount Group is run by the South African brothers Ivor and Eric Ichikowitz and specialises in manufacturing armoured vehicles and unmanned aerial vehicles. It previously brokered a deal for the Malawian government to equip its peacekeeping troops in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Trans Africa Capital, a venture capital firm run by Eric Ichikowitz, also signed agriculture and fuel contracts with Malawi’s government.

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25 thoughts on “Malawi renegotiates $145m arms deal with Paramount: ‘We are better all eating’”

  1. vilimmwera says:

    why going to the same dealer you claim transacted an illegal deal? eee kusowa kolowera, re negotiating ? serious? so gondwe knows best to negotiate, kkkkkkkkk

  2. Tukombo says:

    So why did you arrest Odillo????

  3. Baba wa boy says:

    I know a bit of basic law.

    There is offer
    There is acceptance
    There is Consideration

    But if there is a counter offer, it is not the same contract, it is a different one.

  4. Chindele says:

    Thieves, how can u say the deal was illegal and then renegotiate the same illegal deal.You have been palm oiled.Can the anticorruption bureau if at all it does exist do its job on this issue.No question of not having moved.

  5. Kanonono says:

    It is only in Malawi where people can dare ask how much their government spends in military equipment. Shame on Nyasa Times!

    1. johnM says:

      In many countries with a proper and a real military, How much Government spends is public knowledge. Why should it be any different with Malawi?

      1. JJB says:

        Only as a percentage of GDP. How many people do you think calculate how much that is?

  6. Think Tank says:

    Look at them. Rushing with “illegals” everywhere,then it was not “illegal” after all! We want to re-negotiate ! How can you renegotiate on an illegal transaction without cancellation? The truth is you have yet to reveal the way funds from jet sales were used and you have found there is nothing to be agitated about. You rushed alot with accusations,only to recind them.

  7. Shyman Shaizo says:

    Buy fighter jets not timifuti ndi tizipolopolo…Nkhondo masiku ano idasintha.

  8. Kamkhwezule Kakang'ono says:

    To avoid future bad deals such bilateral agreements should be open to public scrutiny including parliament. Otherwise what guarantee is there that this corrupt DPP government is not negotiating a deal to also oil their palms?

  9. thembi says:

    The evil works of a an evil woman.

  10. wafika says:

    We knew that what you were doing was bush politics from learned men but not wanting to admit that what their fellow politician was doing was saving the countries money and the people of this poor country. Mwagwa nayo. who is fooling who. The poor Malawian will have to cough more now. damn me

  11. vavlov says:

    Malawi set your priorities right. The country doesnt need arms, but food, road construction in the north and medicine in hospitals and build good schools. These arms if purchased will be a way of stealing government money. Dirty assholes at work again

  12. peter says:

    Koma ndiye!? …….

  13. R K says:

    Andale ndiamodzi sadzasintha. Adzasintha ndi anthu.

  14. ujeni says:

    DPP at first was calling PP negotiated and signed deals as illegal and void. The next day we hear no! Will continue with the contract or programe. Who is clueless now? To me PP was smart quick and on right track to develop Malawi. They knew what they were doing and what Malawi need. Not this yo-yo Government.

  15. Tchende says:

    So JB was right. kikikikikikki. Asakhwi kubomako ndi a Nyasatimes, tauzanani and muchenjezane. Despite that I am not a soldier, but I think its not proper to expose each and every security transaction you come across. Muzatiphesa. koma lets equip our soldiers. Akhale buzy with new equipment’yo than kumangokhalira kutilanda akazi ndi kutimenya kumpila.

  16. TMAN says:

    Mpaka za military anthu apange comment?

    1. johnM says:

      Why should they not comment on Military matters? I thought the Military belongs to the public.

  17. peter mshali says:

    renegotiating this arms deal with this firm is a gud idea but goodall gondwe take care to avoid a repeat of what we heard of this contract during joyce bandas regime,we trust u and the president

  18. Tithatonse says:

    How can investors trust us, as a country, if everytime there is a new ruling party all previous contracts get cancelled? Contracts are between government and the other party and not a ruling party and another entity. What is it that the new Minister, AG and Bank governor do that the previous regime didn’t do?

    Some of these things border on extortion. “We also want our cut if you want the contract to remain valid”

  19. Mbewa ndi nchira says:

    There goes the dog, to eat its own vomit. After all what they said about JB, sale the jet and the illigal contract. Am short of words.

    Mark my word, DPP & UDF government will remain the same even in 2024 when we elect them again to take us to 2030.

    No one of them has a clue, if its not by God’s mercy Malawi is done.

  20. ota benga says:

    ku malawi ndi kodyera anthu akunja basi. kaya ndi low self esteem, kudzikayikila kapena kupusa chabe i dont know. just imagine, tikulipilabe ma lawyer ndi ma witness pa milandu ya treason ya achina kasim. everybody laughs at us…

  21. Kizito says:

    Machimo a amayi JB ife anthu tikulira. mzimai opusa kwambiri ameneuja thats why ambirife timati her absence in the country is good ridance.

  22. Kanchacha says:

    Please Malawi Government please use your youngters to train them in manufacturing buy equipments like CNC machine Lathes Mill machine to try to produce the war equipment. With training and workshops graduates in engineering will be able to manufacture these equipment. The cost of buying these war equipments is too much out of the money you can bye raw materials. I am a trained Manufacturing Engineer i can help malawi on this Manucturing.

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