America warns Malawi on energy grant

United States of America has pressed Malawi to swiftly reaffirm its commitment to human rights and governance issues that led to an operational hold of the K52 billion (about $312 million) energy improvement grant.

The call has been made through new US Ambassador Jeanine Jackson when she presented her letters of credence to Malawi President Bingu wa Mutharika at the New State House.

“To get the MCC Compact back on track, it is up to Malawi to reaffirm its commitment to political pluralism, human rights and the rule of law through concrete, positive actions,” said the envoy in her official statement.

Jackson: Warns

The US diplomat clearly stated that the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) places a high value on the practice of good governance and democracy.

Jackson said US government is anxiously waiting for the results of an inquiry on events surrounding the nation-wide July 20th pro-democracy protests that left at least 20 people dead.

“We appreciate the steps taken recently—a smaller Cabinet, commitment to civil society dialogue, engaging the IMF and other donor partners. We await the results of the commission of enquiry investigating the events during the demonstrations of July 20th,” said Jackson.

The US held the energy deal to help Malawi improve the country’s power supply. An erratic power supply is seen as Malawi’s main development bottleneck.

Malawi has seen several major donors stepping down their efforts recently due to poor governance, deteriorating human rights record and economic mismanagement.

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