Construction giant, Mota Engil is bankrolling Agriculture minister George Chaponda in his bid to become Malawi’s next president in 2019, Nyasa Times can reveal.
Insiders said the company has been funding some of Chaponda’s strategies including putting up together a media team to champion his cause.
“They are paying for all his expenses and even his meetings with chiefs and other politicians are being funded by the company. There is a media team which is being put together by one of his assistants, all this money is coming from Mota Engil,” said the source.
“The company believes President Peter Mutharika has already endorsed Chaponda to be DPP’s torchbearer in 2019 as ‘he is one of the very few people who remained in DPP when his brother Bingu died’.
The company wants to be assured of government contracts post Mutharika era and that is why they have set their sights on Chaponda and they are funding his meetings as he prepares for 2019, said the source.
According to insiders, Chaponda is said to have already started campaigning for support in readiness of the 2019 polls.
Recently President Peter Mutharika, at a public rally in Mulanje said he is aware that he is surrounded with ‘Judas Iscariots’ who would not be with him if he were not President.
But Chaponda has been branded by Malawian Ambassador to Brazil, Brian Bowler as a “biggest Judas” of Mutharika.
The minister refused to grant this reporter’s request for an interview.
Mota-Engil company that has made billions of kwacha in construction projects in Malawi.
The Potugese company came in Malawi in 1990 and one of their first projects was the construction of part of the M5 Lakeshore Road between Dwangwa and Nkhata Bay which started the same year.
But the firm only became a major player in the local construction industry during the late Bingu wa Mutharika regime.
The company also made some periodic payments in 2010 and 2011 to the late president Bingu wa Mutharika personally.
The construction company made separate cheque payments to the late president from as low as K1 million (about $4 000) to as high as K10 million (about $40 000) at a time.
Mutharika, who died at the height of whispers regarding his relationship with Mota-Engil, also had some of the company’s cheques deposited directly into his personal accounts at some commercial banks.
Mota-Engil, which also built Mutharika’s Ndata sprawling palace and his final resting place Mpumulo wa Bata at Ndata Farm in Thyolo, defended the payments as donations towards a cause.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :