JB’s guest Ahmed Kassam involved in jetgate of Kenya

The special guest of President Joyce Banda  who was on a mysterious aircraft that landed at Chileka International Airport in the early hours of Saturday is Ahmed Kassam, a British Citizen but lives in South Africa and has been embroiled in luxury jet deal for Kenyan Deputy President William Ruto.

According to Malawi Immigration’s general declaration for light aircraft, the plane, registration ZS-CAG, landed at Chileka on March 15 2014 and carried one passenger, Ahmed Kassam, a 55-year-old Briton travelling on passport number 503403843 which expires on August 20 2023.

The purpose of Kassam’s visit to Malawi remains unknown but has raised eyebrows.

Ahmed Kassamu
Ahmed Kassamu

State House Chief of Staff confirmed he was a guest of President Banda.

However, Kassam has a business in Kenya, EADC Limited – East African Development Corporation, and has been involved in scandals in Kenya.

Nyasa Times understands that Kassam’s style is to rent aircrafts at give-away prices to VIP’s including Presidents in order to get close to the President to pursue other business interests.

Kassam was embroiled in a procurement scandal of supplying Kenyan Deputy President William Ruto with a luxury jet in May last year.

Ironically, President Banda’s running mate Sosten Gwengwe recently held talks with Ruto.

Kassam – who has a liaison office in Nairobi run by Punit Vadgama – was summoned to appear before Kenyan Public Accounts Committee which was probing the procurement of the luxury jet.

He informed the Kenyan MPs that his firm does not own a flight but has a contract with Vistajet. The contract, he said, is on a country to country basis.

Malawi is reeling from its presidential jet sale controversy.

The Dassault Falcon 900EX was bought by Bohnox Enterprises, a firm registered in the British Virgin Islands, and sent to South Africa, where it is loaned to VIPs by the jet company Fortune Air.

Both companies are linked to Paramount Group, Africa’s largest private defence and aerospace firm, which has already signed deals with the Malawian government for agriculture, fuel and military contracts through a network of investment firms.

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