Malawi Investment and Trade Centre (MITC) Chief Executive Officer Clement Kumbemba is said to be panicking following the expiry of his contract this month and has started releasing ‘big figures’ to justify renewal of his contract.
Government is yet to renew his contract and Kumbemba has stepped up his gear through publicity of his ‘achievements’ while he has been CEO.
But Nyasa Times investigations have revealed that Kumbemba has not performed to the expected standards and his contract may not be renewed by government.
“In fact he spent most of his time globe-trotting with nothing tangible to show. All he has are pledges but no real investments worth mentioning has been implemented in his time,” said a Nyasa Times source at MITC.
“He has now instructed his Public Relations Manager Deliby Chimbalu to spread out the big figures to impress people at Capital Hill to have his contract renewed,” added the source.
One of the daily newspapers, The Nation published a story ‘MITC unveils K400 bn market’ where MITC says it has identified export markets for Malawian products worth US$ 547 million (About K397 billion).
Chimbalu said the markets are mostly for agricultural products such as soya beans, groundnuts, rice, beans, sunflower and poultry.
“Like that article in the newspaper, that is staged, if people want to know the truth, they should inspect the books; they will find that very little has been done. Those figures are not real, they are cooked,” said the source.
“During the last Malawi Investment Forum, there were talks that the country had managed to strike deals worth billions of Malawi Kwacha, how many of those deals have materialized? None,” added the source.
But Chimbalu said in a statement seen by a Nyasa Times that the markets include China ($141.7 million), Zambia ($11 million), Zimbabwe ($76.7 million), Tanzania ($510.6 million), South Africa ($100 million), Mozambique ($1 million) and Egypt ($200 million) while the Malawi Investment Forum (MIF) 2018 fetched $16 million in investment pledges.
She said there is still demand for some manufactured products like soya pieces, sunflower cake, plastic products, peanut butter, tea, coffee, cotton cake and beverages.
Said Chimbalu: “Last year, we rolled out an export promotion campaign where we organised several trade missions to different countries with an aim of identifying markets for our products.
“Some of the countries we visited include: Mozambique, Zambia, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Egypt and China. We are happy that these missions have exposed our Malawian producers and manufacturers to market opportunities beyond the borders of Malawi”.
Insiders however said Kumbemba concentrates on foreign trips ‘to look for investors’ ignoring already existing local investors.
“There are a lot of local investors who would want some incentives from MITC but they are not assisted. All this man cares are foreign trips; even as we speak he is planning to go to Mozambique. He has messed up this institution and people from Capital Hill will need to send forensic auditors so that they have a clear picture of this institution,” said the source.
The source said Kumbemba’s bootlicking saw him paying ruling party DPP dancers using money that was given to the institution by sponsors from the private sector including banks for the Malawi Investments Forum last year.
Meanwhile, Mitc is calling on all export ready companies to take advantage of the explored market opportunities.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :