Minister of Finance Goodal Gondwe has confirmed the government of Malawi made an agreement with Time magazine to publish positive stories for President Peter Mutharika and the country would pay 295 000 pound sterling ( K295 million).
According to press report, Gondwe confirmed Malawi engaged the UK-based firm Business Outlook to create a package that would be used to sell the country’s potential for investment on the global stage.
As part of the deal, the company arranged for the publication of several articles in the magazine between November and December, quoted at 295 000 pound sterling (K295 million).
“We made an agreement that Time magazine should run the articles as a forerunner to the President’s (Peter Mutharika) trip to the African Global Summit in London,” Gondwe confirmed as quoted by a local newspaper on Sunday.
“We agreed that we will pay 295 000 pound sterling. This money will be infused into the Ministry of Information, Tourism and Culture vote during the mid-year budget review around February this year. The law allows us to spend sometimes outside the budget but regularise it whenever the august House meets,” he said.
The Finance Minister told the newspaper that the deal was being handled by ministries of Information alongside Trade and Industry
Among the articles that were published in Business Outlook under special advertising section were eight pages themed as Malawi up and open for business, Private sector to be engine for growth, Reforms helping to expand investment, Agriculture the economic bedrock, Malawi a mining country, Infrastructure; economic priority and well connected, safe and beautiful.
Director of Information Bright Molande confirmed the ministry received an invoice for K295 million from Business Outlook but denied formally engaging them to render services to the ministry, according to the report.