Some Malawians in the private sector have said they will try their luck to invest in the new airline company whose set up is being championed by the Private Public Partnership Commission (PPPC).
The new company christened Malawian Airlines is already owned 49 percent by Ethiopian Airlines whose $9.8 million investment includes Boeing 737-800 and a 78-seater Bombardier Q400.
However, the local investors who approached Nyasa Times on condition of anonymity urged the PPPC to put aside politics when awarding the 31 percent shares to interested local investors.
“The deal states that as Malawi, 51 percent of Malawian Airlines will come from within this country therefore citizens are supposed to invest but we don’t want any barriers from the PPPC to favour those with political links as we saw during the disposing off of Air Malawi’s assets where even some incumbent ministers were given leeway to buy huge assets while barring others. W we want a fair deal in owning the airline shares because by the end of the day this is our country we all want to develop not just for a few,” the investors said.
They further said it should be made clear by the PPPC on the percentages of Malawians who are supposed to be employed by the new airline as a way of ensuring that it is not flooded by “worthless and exploitative foreigners”.
“As a turning point, we don’t want expatriates to be even laboures or people who are under-qualified to flood this new company, in some of these agreements government must stress that local labour should be sourced as a matter of priority.
“It is sad that we have living examples where foreigners who only have certificates as qualifications in their fields come to head huge departments which have Malawian graduates and holders of masters degrees who do the donkey work as they earn miserable salaries with the experts having blasphemous and undeserving fat wallets. We must empower our citizens and not belittle them,” said the investors.
But in reaction to this PPPC chief executive officer Jimmy Lipunga said local investors did not show any interest when a tender was advertised looking for their investment in the new partnership.
Malawi Airlines will be headquartered in Lilongwe and the partnership will see Malawi and Ethiopian Airlines jointly injecting a total investment of $20 million.