South Africa-based Malawian businessperson Ashanti Simbi Phiri financially supported the opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP) for their elections bid in the May 21 Tripartite Elections to the tune of K700 million, Nyasa Times understands.
Simbi, who runs a construction and engineering firm Khato Holdings Limited, emerged as one of the top financiers of MCP according to the list of donors to the party seen by Nyasa Times.
The money is also being used to pay court costs for election challenged which MCP has mounted.
The business mogul is on record to have accepted being a donor to political parties and that he also give cash to governing Democratic Progressive Party, saying “ is the spirit that I have introduced in this life.”
The bankrolling of DPP and MCP has raised question in some quarters as they interpret it as a move of getting favours from those in power and then have no checks and balances from the main opposition.
Simbi’s Khato Civils came into the limelight when it signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with government to carry out three major projects to provide water to Lilongwe City from Salima, construction of toll gates and an international bus terminal in Lilongwe.
The three projects are valued at $1 billion (about K750 billion).
The country now has the Political Parties Act that oblige them to declare their sources of funding.
While MCP Secretary General Eisenhower Mkaka acknowledged that Simbi has offered some support to the party indicated that “his help had no conditions attached to it.”