Leader of Transformation Alliance (T.A) Moses Kunkuyu has asked the government to scrutinise and put under microscope all the foreign investors after noting that citizens are not benefiting enough from Direct Foreign Investors.
Kunkuyu said this few days after President Peter Mutharika laid a foundation stone where Chichiri Business Park will be constructed in the Commercial City of Blantyre.
While commending the development, the T.A leader challenged the government to change its approach and stop getting unnecessarily excited when it comes to the so called Foreign Direct Investments and
ensure that there are proven prospects that the locals will benefit.
“We are saying this because we are well aware that many such developments have taken place in the country but in the end they have just provided an opening for the siphoning and exploitation of our
resources. We have examples of such projects where whether directly funded by the so called investors or by loans, the ultimate beneficiaries of the projects have not been local Malawians in the village” he said.
He cited examples of the Presidential Villas, the new hotel, the parliament building and the new stadium in Lilongwe which are very beautiful structures and have created excitement among the citizens
but have not made tangible economic returns to the people of Malawi.
“Ordinarily the general expectation would be that every Malawian tax payer would have the opportunity to benefit economically from such projects either through employment or business opportunities but that has not been the case as evidenced by the procedures followed in the awarding of contracts for the construction of the said facilities all the way to the employment of top staff and identification of business players in these facilities,” he said.
“We appreciate that the investor has standards that they would want to be adhered to but we are aware that Malawi has trained people of high calibre who are capable of raising such structures professionally and operate the businesses with high integrity,” he added.
He warned that by allowing the investors to do everything by themselves from construction to the running and management of the said businesses, well qualified Malawians are being denied opportunities to develop economically and contribute to the development of their country.
Kunkuyu further asked the government to make sure that the investors adhere to the labour laws of the country and never to take advantage of the poverty and unbearable unemployment levels in the country.
“We feel Government has been too lenient with these so called investors when it comes to the protection of the interests of Malawians; as long as few are happy,” he said.
Looking into the future with projects such as the Chichiri Business Park that are coming, Kunkuyu has emphasized that such projects benefit the people of Malawi in a big way than is the case currently.
“We would like to see our local construction experts, plumbers and other professional tradesmen securing jobs or being sub contracted not only as casual labourers who are mostly tortured during such projects and get meagre wages. When all is built, we expect to see local Malawians becoming top managers in these Hotels. At the moment, even chefs are hired from where these investors come from when we have many young people training as chefs at the Malawi Institute of Tourism,” he said.
Meanwhile, Kunkuyu says he expects the Government to plan and coordinate foreign direct investment to address teething challenges that are affecting the general growth of the country thereby avoiding giving away Malawi people who may only satisfy their interests under the guise of foreign direct investment.
At a time when the country is in persistent electricity black outs, and other businesses are shutting down, Kunkuyu said it is also sensible to court potential investors into the energy sector which will in the end ensure a continuous flow of investors into the country.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :