Malawi on Friday received tankers of fuel from Zambia as the southern Africa’s country contribution towards the funeral of the late President Bingu wa Mutharika.
Zambian Minister of Energy, Mines and Water Development Chris Yaluma on Thursday flagged off five tankers carrying fuel destined for Malawi. The flagging off of the five tankers was just symbolic as Yaluma said 15 more tanker had already left by Wednesday.
Malawi High Commissioner to Zambia David Bandawe witnessed the flagging off.
Some of the tankers started arriving in Malawi Friday afternoon and there was a symbolic arrival ceremony in Malawi’s capital, Lilongwe.
As of Friday six tankers had arrived carrying between 30,000 and 35,000 litres each while ten more were expected Saturday.
Speaking in interview with Nyasa Times immediately after the symbolic presentation of the fuel at the Kamuzu Monument in Lilongwe, Zambia Deputy High Commissioner to Malawi, Henry Ngilazi and Malawi Deputy Minister of Energy and Mining Vera Flaminga Chilewani refused to comment on whether the fuel is coming in as a gift or that the government of Malawi is supposed to pay back.
Ngilazi said the two governments will work out modalities and terms of repayment for the supply of the commodity
Chilewani said they will “discuss ” soon after the mourning period.
Malawi Government has since said that while some of the donated fuel will be acquired through vouchers issued by the Office of the President and Cabinet, part of the consignment will be distributed to commercial outlets for sale and the proceeds will be channelled into a special government account to offset other funeral costs including fuel which was already purchased for the funeral.
Sold at the current pump prices, it means the five million litres given by Zambia could fetch almost K1.9 billion (about $11.4 million).
Zambia offered the fuel, valued at about $5 million (about K835 million), as a gift but changed statements after an outcry from its citizens in the same manner the Government of Malawi handled the maize deal to Zimbabwe whose payment is said to be still outstanding.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :