Sweet and sour Chinese aid dichotomy in Malawi

A few days ago the media was awash with messages of congratulations to President Peter Mutharika and his governing party DPP for apparently accomplishing a US$1.3 billion ace in development aid out of the country’s relationship with Mainland China.Loose cannon

The announcement was made at a carefully organized news conference that came almost a month after Mutharika’s trip to Mainland China and not long after the International Monetary Fund (IMF) announced its programme with the country was off-track and that the US$20 million tranche that was slated to be released ‘now’ would be put on hold.

The troubling part about this ‘blockbuster’ aid announcement, however, that is the DPP government is announcing the signing of an aid package and deals that were already signed for and announced by the previous People’s Party (PP) government of Joyce Banda. The difference is that the PP government announced the package right there in China, and there are pictures to show of the former president and her officials such as ex-minister Ibrahim Matola and PS and now Chief Secretary, George Mkondiwa, and others, signing the deals and shaking hands with Chinese officials.

But what has motivated the DPP government to claim credit on accomplishments that are not theirs? That is the question that many people have been asking, and it is the question that still lingers. There is obviously an underlining reason that has forced the DPP government to act in a manner that it has done.

The first thing that comes to the fore is that government is under pressure to look for resources, especially after the budget aid freeze from traditional donors. That government has now resigned to the fate that budgetary support might not be coming, is also becoming known, at least based on statements coming from Finance Minister, Goodall Gondwe. He recently said he does not believe donor budget support would be coming back because “donors are also facing economic challenges in their own countries.”

Government’s decision to turn to the East, notably China, for aid after getting a ‘rebuff’ from the West is not at all bad. In fact, it shows that Capital Hill is not sitting on its laurels just waiting to be obliterated. But is that rationale enough to claim credit over the job of other people?

Of course, government is a continuous business, and ideally, the DPP government should have continued from where the PP government left. It would have been in order for the DPP to announce the ‘second phase’ of an agreement that was negotiated by the PP administration.

In fact, people would have respected President Mutharika if he had done that. But to announce and claim credit for agreements that were done and sealed by others almost two years ago is not only an insult to Malawians, but also very petty politicking.

The DPP might be trying to play aid politics with our traditional multilateral partners by presenting China as the new ‘friend in need’; one who makes himself available in the hour of need. It might also be a way of telling IMF to go to hell with their money of “strings attached”. Capital Hill must perform a delicate balancing act here. Our traditional partners in the West have been with us for a long time, and we still need them today like we needed them yesterday.

In fact, their conditionalities – mainly on governance – also help the country to be on its toes and to use the aid for intended purposes. It helps to prevent things like cashgate. After all, there is no such a thing as free lunch. The lack of attached strings for soft loans and grants from China must not fool us into thinking we are getting freebies. It is no Mapwevupwevu. Our children and grandchildren will have to repay the loans. Please let us not overburden the future generation with our foolish decisions today.

Government must cultivate a model which exploits the best of both worlds – the East and the West. Seeking aid from China must not be a way to avoid cleaning up its act such as investigating the MK577 billion cashgate, which took place from 2005 to 2012. We all know the ultimate beneficially of any development are the people of this country. Leaders work for the people and bilateral agreements like the ones with China (whether negotiated by the DPP or PP government) are agreements by government not individuals or tpolitical parties.

These are also milestones that ought to be celebrated by every Malawian. To begin to climb mountains to honk horns over other people’s accomplishments is not only voodoo politics but comes across as bland.

“One lesson that every nation can learn from China is to docus more creating village-level enterprises, quality health services and education facilities .”- A. P. J. Abdul Kalam

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28 thoughts on “Sweet and sour Chinese aid dichotomy in Malawi”

  1. Lhomwe Belt says:

    Mutharikatu Game yake ndi yonyematu! Kkkkkkkkk Alibe backbone

  2. Blessings Kaweru says:

    Stop cheap politics Forcus on development

  3. levelheaded says:

    Thom Chiumia, I have been respecting you in most of the writings you have been posting except this stinking piece that will make me vomit for the whole year. I regret the time I decided to start reading it since I was expecting something good spiced up with good English when I just saw your name on top. Of what essence would be if APM had mentioned that these loans were negotiated by the previous government? On the opposite side you know that am a DPP diehard but I did not buy that news which was there that DPP had already negotiated with Nigeria about that fuel which became available after JB ascended to presidency. I wouldn’t buy it if I construct a better house flor my mother only my brother to come for praises since he had already planned to construct one. You are saying party pp negotiated this loan some two years ago, but what has made these Chinese to release these loans now just a month after APM negotiated with them? Mind you due to her allegiance with the west JB could not attain that loan since west and east they don’t see eye to eye.lastly be soberminded when you write your articles next time. I like the way you put up Queen’s language. By the way, it was reported that JB is coming this October, let me remind you that today is 27 or are you telling me that the ides of March are come? Kkkkkkkkkkkkkk.

    1. Tiyeni kuyankhula muchinenero chathu kunoko.Mavuto ndi amenewa kuno ku Malawi kumangokangana zinthu zikulakwika inu pamene sipali bwino tiziyang’anapo kwajinji kaya kumbali yolamula kapena ya opposition fundo zonse tigwiritse ntchito.Ambiri amangokhalira ine diehard kuyendetsa dziko sitimu yamupira perekani ulemu mukutsogolera mizimu ya anthu amwini wake mulungu.Kwenikweni inu atsogoleri ndikukusimikizirani masewerowo mukayankha kumwamba tsamalani udindowu siwodyera koma ukapolo ndithu iyi ndi ntchito yoopsya zedi samalani.Mutsogoleri ali ngati tate kapena mayi wa mitundu yonse mdzikomo koma masiku ano zachisoni Mulungu yekha ayankhule.Komanso ndife tomwe tikumapangitsa otsogolera njira zachabe zosaopa Mulungu dziko nkumaonongeka.Tiyeni tizimvana poyendetsa dzikoli moopa Mulungu chonde.

  4. Resinate says:

    Just start creating and making your money, why are you so dependant of other countries to give you money? At the end of the day you will lavish all this money forgetting to help the real Malawians in the rural area. You are all thieves!!!

  5. nyapapi says:

    Correction, Ethiopian Airlines sales figure this year is at $2.4Billion

  6. nyapapi says:

    DPP through then BINGU (RIP) brought China to Malawi and all these projects were signed in 2010 by Bingu himself before his death. PP was just a passing cloud and CHINA, mulled over these projects because it doesnt recognise and trust PP thats why during PP, there were no new CHINESE PROJECTS in Malawi. It all started with China’s anger as to why after two yeras of completion, the Hotel was still not opened? That angered CHINA, and put a padlock on all projects Bingu signed. So when passing cloud PP was flashed into a pit latrine, CHINA was happy that his ally DPP is back in power and all taps for Projects opened. Conversely, the WEST whose ally was passing cloud PP has closed its taps. Kumaiwerenga, osangolemba chifukwa joice banda wakupatsani yakanyenya walero. Cant you see the West are in awe with jealous? Even Britain yesterday signed a $1Trillion nuclear project with CHINA. We negatively report about China because of our ignorant of what type of Economy is CHINA. On another note, Ethiopian Airways which bought Air Malawi just announced a net profit of $170Million dollars from sales of $2.4Million dollars. It remitted $345Miiliom dollars in taxes to the government in addition to a divedend of $100Million dollars. It emplys 11,100people, has a fleet of 79 aircrafts and flies to 91 Cities in the world.
    They have drawn up a 20year plan which will see revenues top $10billion dollars.
    As of today, the annual revenues and profits of all african airlines combined are less than half of what Ethiopian Airlines make in a year. Note, Ethiopian Airline is Government owned.

  7. Westerners are pure satanist they dont care how you will use once you accept the baptism in the satanic spirit thus all gayism and all the yismz

  8. Even if it were chakwela, kasonga, chisi etc there is nothing wrong so long as the money help poor mwians. What if APM says yes it was JB who sourced the funds so what? Will u answer?

  9. Kanyimbi says:

    The Chinese Government is a good example. The west are too sleepy that’s why most of their money has been cashgated. The money of Chinese people is fortified and difficult to steal.

  10. mwachaje says:

    MG Govt turned to the East sometime back. Even JB would attest to this because she was Foreign Minister then.
    What should Govt do when one of the friends of Malawi, when AID is withheld ?.

    Mr editor the whole world including your very own UK has gone East. Are you not aware that just last week China and UK signed deals worth over $30Billion.

  11. chefourpence says:

    Second phase in what way? Was the aid partially disbursed? So DPP should take the blame when the Brettonwoods institutions discontinue aid, aid that was there and suspended before DPP came to power and fail to take credit when China starts rolling out its aid? Thats hate politics!

  12. Oyikonda Malawi says:

    Bwanji kodi kuononga dziko lanu anthu olemba inu? Mukufuna kusangalatsa ndani? Koma zoonadi uchitsilu siutha chifukwa cha school. Ino sinthawi ya campaign ayi dziwitsani anthu chinthu chenicheni thank you boss.

  13. Malawiyano says:

    I commend the Chines , they never give money in the hands of DPP Malawians instead they handle their money by themselves only that’s why it’s not easy for the DPP guys to steal the Chines money , the only thing they will steal it’s the materials . Chines do bring their own workforce as well , very soon you will see DPP guys getting thiner and thiner.

  14. Njolinjo says:

    Iyenso watikwana, eeeeeesh!

  15. KoKolikoko says:

    Lets 4get about PP its tym 4 DPP why are you wasting tym tackling nonsese!!!
    Allow the DPP gorvement to persue with development!!
    Who was the pioneer of subsidy????
    Did Joyce Banda not Practicing subsidy?

    Dont make kokoliko laugh!!!!
    Pamene [email protected] kulima nzako ndipamene umayambira!!!”’

  16. ponto says:

    This is the continuation from where Bingu, may his soul rest in peace, left. Govt in a continuous business. We must recomend the Bingu administration for that and also Mmayi has played a role kuti izi zipitilite coz it was possible during her 2 yrs to abandon china and go back to Taiwan. So when writing we must not be one sided its a on going process. Bravo Peter.

  17. kuipa says:

    Kupanda mano,manyazi,mfundo,chilungamo,nzelu,chifundo,masomphenya the list goes on, and on, and on,ths Muthalika will leave Malawi in a big mess.

  18. Tina says:

    Zingobwela ndalamazo cash gate is open widely. As I’m talking now even church cash gates is more wider. We don’t care whether Muthalika or Banda government. Stupid Country for Stupid people, thieves

  19. The Analyst says:

    You seem to praise the PP for initiating the loan deal and criticise the DPP for receiving it, with smiles. What are you suggesting? They should have received it in quietude to show credit to the PP?

    If hunger bites a poor family so hard that the father is forced to go out begging for food from another family but dies before the request is honoured. Meanwhile, the mother makes follow-up visits to the rich family on the request. And a month later bags of food come to the poor family. You mean the mother and the children should not celebrate because they are not the ones who initially went out to beg? How about the reminders and follow-ups visits?

    Or you suppose that after the initial deal, nothing else happened and China just surprised us with the money? Nooooo!!!! You will be dissapointed to learn that there were reminders. Follow-up visits to China and maybe the DPP is celebrating how they have successfully done this! And we have a problem with that?

    And why are we so obsessed with who gets the credit here? And forget that the money hence projects therefrom, will benefit Malawi; regardless of who gets the credit?

    “Its amazing what you can accomplish if you don’t care who gets the credit.” – Harry Truman

    And who/where is the PP that needs to be given the credit? Coz only one ghost (Ken Nsonda) is all that is known now of the PP.

    Lets us not choose to say or write a lot about nothing.

    Otherwise we will lose focus of what is important and dwell on what is not important yet what is important is more important than what is not important.

  20. chabwino ndi PP, are u satisfied? milandu mbwee!! ng’weng’we west patners kuti chani. azungu takhalanawo 4 51yrs chomwe tapindulako ndikukhala osaukitsa zedi,anthu odana ndi atsogoleri awo. bwenzi labwino linganene kuti gulitsani ndege, bwenzilomwelo mkukhala ogula kenako ndikumatipangitsa hire ndege yomweyo? azungu ife amatitora kwabasi maka coz of anthu osakonda dziko lawo ngati inu..nyasa ,JB,CSOs anthu woyipa zedi. DPP inakulakwilani chani, a muthalika analakwanji? ife timawakonda atsogoleri anthu, pamene ena amkavina kukondwa kuti Bingu wamwalira ife timalira ndikupinda mayondo kwachauta kuti atipatseso muthalika wina.

  21. Baba wa Boyi says:

    Who cares if the money comes from China or UK.

    1. The Analyst says:

      Do you care whether its a man or woman coming to you asking for a fuck, a courtship or even marriage? I care, as do every other sane man or woman!

      The money from China has no gay/lesbian issues and the one from the UK has.

      Further, the Chinese have a different model. They themselves are all eyes on the projects and therefore are of good quality n in time n no abuse of funds. On the other hand, the UK aid (because of the model they use) is prone to abuse (since they assume that the recipient country is rational and will behave); and in the end nothing to show for.

      Because of these and many other differences, it matters where the money comes from. And because it matters, I and other sensible Malawians care.

      But what we don’t care about is who gets the credit between PP and DPP because the money is for Malawi (a country and a people) not a political party (PP or DPP or MCP) which are nothing but a collection of like-minded thieves and opportunists.

      1. Baba wa Boyi says:

        believe it or not my comment has been corrupted by Nyasa Time.
        I wrote a whole page.

        You must be a Nyasa times employee trying to counter my comment without showing and misrepresenting my comment. Shame on you.

  22. The Only Democrat Left says:

    It’s important to recognise that the aid by Chima given to the people of Malawi not to PP or to DPP.
    China is very clear about the fact that the relationship is between China and Malawi and not China and either PP or DPP.
    What should be concerning is that whilst a vast majority of Malawians live in poverty of Biblical proportions, building a new airport at Chileka will not bring benefit to them nor the country when hardly two planes land at Chileka on average every day. Nor can a cancer centre be more important then providing adequate primary health care and providing basic medicines in our hospitals. Perhaps the money for the airport and the cancer centre should have used instead to refurbish our decaying hospitals and providing each district hospital with mortuaries and other facilities which are lacking.
    As to DPP claiming credit for the aid negotiated by PP, what can we expect from a party whose leader announces that he will stand for reelection in 2019 at the age of 79 or 80 immediately he was elected, disregarding the party’s right to select it’s Presidential candidate prior to the elections?

  23. Chadazi says:

    DPP is engaged in Cheap Political Propaganda just to buy time

  24. only says:

    mukapanda kumupezera zifukwa president simumawupeza mtima, mwatikwana

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