Govt targets pension funds for Salima-Lilongwe Water Project

Senior Treasury officials have sounded an alarm asking Malawians with pension funds to be vigilant as President Lazarus Chakwera is set to raid pension funds to finance the Lake Malawi Water Project.

The Investigator Magazine has been shown the three finance options where the people of Malawi will borrow on behalf of the nation to finance a project riddled with controversy and secrecy.

Ministry of Finance officials claimed they are under pressure from the Office of the President and Cabinet to roll out the project which has no feasibility studies done on its viability.

“We are literally being asked to break all public financial management rules. Money bills are supposed to orginate from us. Ask AG where he got the one that went to parliament,” said an official.

He challenged that Government cannot make the Khato Civils contract public as it contains many loopholes that could not have passed. He said the borrowing of money for a private company was wrong.

“There were no approvals as it was supposed to be. Change in contract of that magnitude should be advertised and PPDA should have published notice of intention to award the new public financing model. None of that happened. The Attorney General is in the forefront breaking all the rules,” charged another official.

He dropped the bomb, “If the banks approve that stupid loan, the next stage is to utilise pension funds. You are looking at K300 to K400 billion which is alot of money. Our Judges would find themselves without pensions if the funds collapse when Khato Civils or the project fails. It will be karma. It happened with Alliance Capital which looked solid. This one is one shaky area. Everyone with pension could be affected. This madness should he stopped.”

He said apart from pensions funds, government will also try to borrow more from outside to meet any shortfalls.

“Malawi is already choked in debt. Why the President is so adamant to sink the whole nation into further debt is baffling.  He is like he doest care unless his friend gets the money,” said an angry official.

Another official reported that Reserve Bank Governor Dr Wilson Banda has joined in trying to get banks pay the loan quickly. 

The Investigator Magazine has sent questions to all those named and will update if they respond.

Days after Justice Dingiswayo Madise gave a stay order to Attorney General  Thabo Chakaka Nyirenda whose appeal broke court rules as the High Court had not ruled on his application there. There was no decision for the AG to appeal on.

Questions have emerged on the role of Supreme Court of Appeal in upholding justice and public interest matters  where most cases either delay perpetually or strange rulings appear to baffle the public.

Four prominent cases of bail are yet to be heard by the Appellate Court some spanning years, while Attorney General was sure he will get what he want at the said court.

Some of the delayed cases  include appeals by Thom Mpinganjira who was convicted in a bribery attempt case, another by former Attorney General Ralph Kasambara, Uladi Mussas appeal that has almost became academic and the appeal by Kezzie Msukwa, former Minister of Lands over Zuneth bribery.

However the Appeals Court has managed to speed up hearing in the controversial Lake Malawi Project where Government wants to borrow K105 billion on behalf of Khato Civils.

Forum for National Development (FND) obtained an injunction from the High Court and interparty hearing was slated for May 30. The AG went to Supreme Court before his applications in the lower court were decided upon.

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