Malawi government says three prospective buyers have submitted their bids for the purchase of its 14-seat presidential jet as it tries to raise much-needed revenue.
The Office of the President and Cabinet (OPC) said in a tender notice that the plane will be sold to the highest bidder.
Companies that have submitted their bids to buy the Dassault Falcon 900EX, built in 1998, are Bohnox Enterprise Limited from the British Virgin Islands, General Aviation Services from USA and African Dune Investments from South Africa,.according to OPC Principal Secretary (administration) Clement Chinthu-Phiri.
Minister of Information and Civic Education Moses Kunkuyu said the internal procurement committee overseeing the sale of the jet is yet to meet and report to Cabinet on the bids.
Kunkuyu said the bids would be opened and offers read out in the presence of interested buyers or their representatives and any member of the public when the plane flies back from France where it has gone for checks.
President Joyce Banda has refused to travel in the jet since she took office last April. She has said money from the sale of the plane would be used to provide basic services for Malawi’s poor.
Her predecessor, the late Bingu wa Mutharika, was strongly criticised for buying the jet five years ago at a cost of about $13.3m (£8.5m), despite poverty in the country.
At the time Mutharika said it was “cheap to run”, despite his country depending on aid inflows for almost half its budget.