Forum for National Development (FND) has challenged the government to explain why it undertook to borrow K105 billion from local banks to finance Salima -Lilongwe Water Project under Khato Civils Limited.
FND Executive Director Fryson Chodzi made the remarks during a press conference in Lilongwe on Wednesday to clarify their legal action against the government’s decision on the project.
“There has been an attempt to vilify the action taken as being anti-development, ant-patriotism and against President Lazarus Chakwera and his government as well as attempts to make their legal action as a political issue but there is nothing political in the case,” he said.
Chodzi said the organization has the duty just like everyone Malawian to protect the image of the country, integrity of the President and taxes that Malawians pay to ensure that it is put to good use.
He further said the President has been misled in several ways citing examples of K750m paid at Barkaat Foods Limited, a butchery in UK, Brigdin Foundation as well as the issues of fuel.
He expressed worry over the financing of the project adding that there have been red flags in the project and the latest being how the Loan Authorization Bill for the Lake Malawi Water Supply Project rushed through parliament.
He further said the injunction has been obtained as a last resort due to the government’s secrecy and unwillingness to provide information on the project after several futile attempts to get information on new financing arrangements.
Chodzi said they have so far engaged the Ministry of Finance, wrote the Anti-Corruption Bureau and Parliament. He lamented that instead of the contractor, Khato, to find the financier, the government has come in to find the finances for the project which is very unusual and raises eyebrows.
The organization wants the government to also explain the K25 billion paid to Khato on the same project but with no results shown on the ground.