Malawi ruling PP’s purchase of K750m fleet of vehicles questioned: Apollo named donor

Pressure is mounting for the Malawi ruling People’s Party (PP)  to disclose the source of money which they used to purchase  more than 50 vehicles for the party that are currently going at around MK15 million each  and valued in excess of K750 million in total.

Political analysts say it is insensitive and questionable for party to spend such amount of money at time when the country is going through economic turmoil.

University of Malawi political scientist Dr Henry Chingaipe  said PP must come in the open to disclose the source of funds arguing that the secrecy surrounding it would likely breed suspicion of shady dealings.

“The secrecy surrounding it creates room for corruption and favoritism in awarding state contracts. It’s very unfortunate that even previous administrations were also doing the same,” said Chingaipe on Zodiak Broadcasting Services.

PP executive coach
PP executive coach

It is reported that the vehicles have been donated by Apollo International which has controversially been awarded government contract for designing, supplying, installation and commissioning of a sugar processing plant in Salima; irrigation networks in Salima, Karonga and Mangochi and strategic fuel reserves in Lilongwe, Blantyre and Mzuzu.

Three Indian companies disqualified in the $76.5 million (K33.7 billion) Indian Exim Bank loan funded construction contracts attacked Malawi’s Ministry of Finance (MoF) for alleged irregularities in awarding of contracts to Apollo International.

The companies have written the Indian Government to intervene, stop three projects under the tender and allow for re-evaluation of the bids—a process they believe was not handled fairly.

Apollo was also awarded two other projects worth $80 million (about K32 billion) by MoF in previous Indian credit lines, including the buying of Youth Enterprise Development Fund (Yedf) equipment currently lying idle in warehouses in Lilongwe.

Malawi’ leader of opposition John Tembo is on record  to have expressed worry with corruption in government.

However, PP  officials are declining to disclose the sources of funding saying it is from well-wishers who need not to be disclosed and that those pushing the party to disclose the source of money are doing it because of jealousy .

“This is not an issue it is only the work of jealousy people who don’t wish the part well. PP enjoys huge support from well-wishers who assist the party in many ways”, said Ken Msonda deputy publicity secretary for the party, adding that the funds were obtained through legitimate means.

But Chingaipe says there is need to enact legislation that would make parties disclose their source of funds.

“In the absence of such laws, the real truth about where ruling  parties get funds to enable them purchase expensive assets only after a brief stay in power will remain a mystery and this dangerous to the country”.

The most worrying thing, Chingaipe says, is that the parties purchase huge fleets of motor vehicles after a brief stint in power but this vanishes as soon as they go out of power.

Msonda also said PP officials were already well to do and had cars before they went into government, saying himself used to drive during the time of Kamuzu Banda rule and invited late Lucky Dube to perform in Malawi as promoters, arguing that PP officials are not from rags to riches overnight.

PP also received a brand new 56-seater coach donated by  PP wing from the United Kingdom.

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