State Residences director of communications and executive assistant to President Lazarus Chakwera has said there is nothing to hide that South Africa-based business mogul Simbi Phiri of Khato Civils is connected to the Malawi leader and supported his election campaign but that he will not get preferential treatment in doing business with government.
Simbi Phiri has been honest and transparent enough to state that he has provided financial support to two of the country’s major political parties—Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and Malawi Congress Party (MCP) of Chakwera.
In DPP, Simbi Phiri supported the party and mainly through Ben Phiri the former minister.
Simbi is also on record to have said individual politicians from MCP, DPP and even Aford—especially those seeking parliamentary seats—have also gone to him with begging bowls.
He has drilled boreholes for them in their names and helped with other resources because, according to him, he believed those individuals would contribute to national development in a patriotic manner.
Responding to a journalist question during the third session of the newly-introduced State House Press Office weekly briefing at Kamuzu Palace in Lilongwe on Monday, Kampondeni acknowledged the personal relationship of President Chakwera and Simbi, whose Khato Civil have a multi-billion kwacha Salima-Lilongwe Water project.
“You are right in saying that Mr Simbi Phiri is on record, publicly, saying that he has financed various campaigns across the country, not just at presidential level. He has also made contributions to parliamentary races and so forth. He has, made that public and the President has never said anything publicly to contradict him” said Kampondeni.
President Chakwera’s spin doctor added: “ You also mentioned that one of his contributions to the President’s campaign was a contribution of a motor vehicle and that the vehicle was part of declaration of assets published in the local papers which is something no President in this country has ever done to have their assets published in the local newspapers. There is nothing to hide regarding the contributions of that vehicle.”
Phiri— whose home in Mchinji is only 20 kilometres away to Chakwera’s — has shown he has nothing and no reason to hide anything because he does it out of conviction, not necessarily expecting politicians to grant him business favours once they happen to have the power to do so.
State House prolocutor pointed out that the Salima- Lilongwe Water Project, designed to pump and deliver 50 million litres of potable water from Salima to Lilongwe City every day over a distance of abour 120 kilometers was initiated before during the DPP administration led by immediate-past president Peter Mutharika.
The project is currenly financed in the 2020/21 national budget.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :