Malawian President Joyce Banda has come under heavy criticism from opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) over the presidential jet which she has been using on her recent sojourns that is linked to the arms dealers Paramount Group.
Banda sold the presidential jet three months ago and promised to fly commercial to cut costs but it has been revealed that the jet President Banda is the same one former president Bingu wa Mutharika was using.
The plane – a Falcon 900 EX, registration number ZS-FCI – was bought by a South African resident, painted it differently and changed its registration number.
Presidential Press Secretary Steve Nhlane told the media that the jet is from “well-wishers” who asked not to be named.
University of Malawi political scientist Blessings Chinsinga argued that there are no “free lunches”, as these “well-wishers” have their own interests they want to achieve.
National secretary of the Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace (CCJP) Chris Chisoni said the lack of information and transparency on the issue smacks of hypocrisy.
However, DPP through its secretary general Dr. Jean Kalirani suspects “there must have been some underground deals with the buyer of the plane, such as being assured of some favors, material or otherwise, or being allowed to fly in the plane afterwards in return for favorable transactions in the sale.”
DPP said the cloack of secrecy of the jet is not suprising considering the arms dealers Paramount and perception of corruption, saying “there is a high propensity for bribes, corruption, and fraud in sales and transactions of military hardware worldwide.”
Paramount Group, the firm that is the beneficiary of the President Banda’s lucrative arms deal and sponsor of her now cancelled public relations arrangement with Bell Pottinger.
It is now crystal clear that Banda has been using the same presidential jet the country sould.
Full details and pictures of the plane are found on http://www.wentworth.aero which advertises the aircraft as having an excellent pedigree and maintenance.
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