There is a raging debate with regards to viability and legality of the barter deal that was agreed between Malawi government and an investor.
For the starters, we understand that, to address shortage of housing among police officers, Worldwide Construction Company was awarded a K9.9 billion contract to construct 160 houses (i.e. K62 million per house) at Area 30 in Lilongwe.
In exchange, the government entered into a gentleman’s agreement to give 25 hectares of land in Lilongwe to the Worldwide Construction Company in exchange constructing the 140 houses for police officers.
The Company also agreed to use the given 25 hectares of land for construction of a modern multi-purpose one stop town that aims at bringing products and services at one place to maximize consumer satisfaction.
This was agreed by the previous government.
It is interesting that the Tonse Alliance government wants the deal quashed because, according to Home Affairs Minister Richard Chimwendo, they will not allow that land to be offered for development through what he called “barter”.
It’s undisputable that, in the drudgery of this deal, some illegalities ensued. In 2020, it does make sense for government not to be involved bartering land. It looks suspicious.
However, on the other hand, there is an issue of police officers’ houses and, again, the construction of the shopping town.
So, should government quash this deal? We don’t believe.
Much as the means may be problematic, we believe the end is very important. What this deal intends to achieve is more critical and important than the means used.
As such, we believe government can rectify the noted anomalies in this deal without reversing it. We can’t manage to throw the baby out with the bathwater. It doesn’t make sense especially when President Lazarus Chakwera elected in May after the Constitutional Court nullified the results of an earlier election that had declared Peter Mutharika as winner, is touting his Hi-5 political matra which include rule of law.
One, with government move to create 1 million jobs, the construction of the town will help create employment to many people. Secondly, constructing of police officer’s houses is timely as most of our law enforcement officers lives in sorry sights.
It is our submission, hence, that government needs to see the larger good in this without being misled by political inclinations.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :