South African based Malawian investor, preacher and philanthropist Shepherd Bushiri, popularly known as Major One, has said he is now enjoying Malawi government support and the strained relationship is water under the bridge, saying he is ready to boost the country with his investments in tourism, agriculture and hospitality.
Bushiri said at an impromptu news conference in Lilongwe when he attended the opening of this year’s Malawi Investment Forum at Bingu International Conference Centre (BICC).
“This is the first time that I am coming to Malawi to take part in the investment forum,” said Bushiri who in a March was invited by government to address a Malawi-Japan Investment conference at Sandton in South Africa.
“What I have seen is very pleasant, I have been taken by surprise. I have no doubt in five or 10 years Malawi will be one of the growing business hubs in this part of Africa.”
Malawi Investment Forum is a platform where the country sells its investment opportunities across the world – about 300 delegates are participating at this year’s two-day event.
Bushiri was given recognition as his Shepherd Bushiri Investments (Pty) Limited (SBI) has now operations in the country and is creating jobs.
SBI founder was given a seat in the front row together with the President and sat next to ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) regional governor for the center, Bintony Kutsaila and several government officials including ministers were paying homage to the spiritual leader also fondly called ‘Papa’.
Bushiri said he wants to make “huge investments in Malawi” and contribute to national development.
He said: “Currently, I have invested heavily and I will continue doing so. We will be venturing into tourism and agriculture before going into mining because there is huge potential in tourism as Malawi’s tourism sector is growing.”
Bushiri said he takes government’s gesture in inviting him to the Investment Forum and giving him a VVIP front rise seat as an acceptance.
“It shows that my country has accepted me,” he said.
Bushiri’s company has bought seven plots in Lilongwe and is working on a hotel project along the Lilongwe-Mchinji Road, estimated to cost $21 million (about K15 billion).
SBI has footprints in a number of countries including his base in South Africa where it bought Sparkling Waters and Spa in 2016 and has since invested $100 million (K73 billion) in renovations, creating over 1 000 jobs in Rustenburg.
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