South Africa gives Malawi US$ 35m fuel windfall

Lady luck seems to be smiling all the time at Malawi’s new President Her Excellency Mrs Joyce Banda as each day passing, solutions to the challenges that the country faced in the last few years seem to be coming Malawi way.

On Tuesday, Malawi’s former colonial master Britain restored the sour diplomatic relations between the two countries and announced that the two countries will now send to each other resident envoys.

As if that was not enough, one of Malawi’s closest neighbours South Africa came in with a US$35 million windfall that is expected to cater for the country’s fuel requirements for 30 days (one month).Zuma: South Africa supporting Malawi's new era

Malawi has been experiencing erratic fuel supplies for over two years now. This inconsistent fuel supply has been blamed on the administration of former late President Bingu Wa Mutharika who took a tough economic stance and poor governance record that put off international donors to stop assisting this southern Africa impoverished country.

South Africa High Commissioner to Malawi, Thombile Mabude,  on Tuesday presented to President Banda a US$10,000.000.00 cheque which is part of the US$35,000,000.00 bounty.

According to Mabude, the remaining balance of US$25,000,000.00 is expected to be deposited in Malawi state coffers at least by the end of next month, May.

Mabude told journalists soon after presenting the cheque to President Banda that her country felt as a neighbour it needed to come in and assist when the southern African country was facing serious fuel shortages.

“When your neighbour’s house is on fire, you take a bucket of water and help in putting out the fire that what good neighbourliness is all about,” she said.

The pledge to assist Malawi with fuel was made two weeks ago when three South African ministers acting as special envoys for President Jacob Zuma paid a courtesy call on President Banda.

Apart from assisting Malawi with the fuel for one whole month, South Africa also hosted for free the family of late President Mutharika when his body was taken there, paid for the casket of the departed leader and also provided two planes that escorted the body back home in Malawi.

Since her ascendancy to power about three weeks ago, Her Excellency Banda is enjoying massive support from Malawi’s neighbours including Mozambique and Zambia among many others.

The two countries also donated a lot food items and fuel to the Malawi Government towards the funeral of the fallen Malawi head of state.

Mutharika was buried on Monday at his Ndata Farm in the southern tea growing district of Thyolo.

And now Malawi is on the move again.

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