4 February, 2023

Government told to involve parliament in vetting large scale deals

Former finance minister Goodall Gondwe, "We don’t know much about it".

Prominent figures are advising the Tonse administration to involve parliament on deals of national interest for due diligence purposes.

This is in reference to the 7 trillion kwacha grant agreement between Malawi and a Belgium based BRIDGIN Foundation.

Finance minister Sosten Gwengwe and BRIDGIN Foundation president Tanko Mauhamadou signed the deal on Monday at Kamuzu palace in Lilongwe.

The grant is expected to fund 7 projects in the health, energy, education sectors, but the conditions have not been made public.

Elsewhere, the foundation is being suspected to have been involved in fraudulent activities.

Former Malawi diplomat to Japan John Chicago believes the authorities could have avoided the speculations if parliament was involved in the process.

“My only worry is it seems we are leaving parliament. Parliament must always be involved because we are dealing with a national,  the national issue which should have been dealt with elected people.

“The second thing is that when you are dealing with international people you must know that there are opportunists or tricksters who go around posing like owners of capital and you will be in trouble with them,” Chikago said.

Former Minister of Finance Goodall Gondwe has also commented on the development;“We don’t know much about it, it’s the first time I have heard about it myself …It doesn’t mean it can’t happen but I would be very surprised if it happens, particularly since we have made so many mistakes in the recent past for somebody to entrust us with this kind of money,” Gondwe said.

However, Gwengwe assured smooth execution of the grant saying the money will be directly channeled into the specific projects.

Reacting to the public concerns and criticism over the deal, government spokesperson Gospel Kazako has appealed to the citizenry to trust their government.

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