State House Dismisses Rumours on Blair
Reported by Shadreck Chikoti
SANJIKA PALACE, BLANTYRE: State House has dismissed media reports that the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change (TBIGC), which is expected to establish a Delivery Unit to help the government in service delivery, will siphon tax payer’s money through salaries and other expenditures.
Speaking at Sanjika Palace on Monday November 30, 2020, through the Weekly Brief Program, Executive Assistant to the President, who is also Director of Communications at State Residencies, Sean Kampondeni, said it will not cost tax payers a single Kwacha to have the delivery unit in the country.
“These people are here, committed to assist the country, and the President is welcoming of any help, from any experts, who are willing to do so without taking advantage of the Malawian people, and tax payers money,” said Kampondeni.
Social Media Reports
Recent Social Media reports observed that Blair was only coming to Malawi to harvest poor people’s taxes.
The reports further said that per year, Malawi would be spending over MK700 million to pay Blair’s people, and that they would provide them with offices, posh houses as well as expensive cars, all on the heads of tax payers.
Observed the commentators, President Chakwera has 21 advisors and does not need to engage a foreign organization to help him govern. The Institute had also partnered with former President Joyce Banda’s administration and had failed her, said the reports.
President Chakwera’s engagement with TBIGC
Kampondeni revealed that the TBIGC will help President Lazarus Chakwera achieve two things, namely helping the Tonse Government address capacity deficiencies within the government machinery, and would also help the President, as an incoming chair of SADC with insight on governance issues since TBIGC has had its operations in 16 African countries over the past decade.
Kampondeni further said the TBIGC does not set any agenda for countries but only helps the governments in implementing their agendas.
On the accusation that the TBIGC worked with former President Joyce Banda in 2012, and the looting of money in a scandal that is now known as Cashgate happened while they were in the country and therefore must not be engaged again, Kampondeni revealed that during that time the focus of the TBIGC was to provide a metric of performance at the office of the President and Cabinet which is still used to date.
“They were not involved, nor were they engaged in 2012 in providing any expertise or counsel or advice related to Malawi’s financial system. They did not work with the Ministry of Finance nor did they work with the Treasury and as everybody knows, these are the institutions where the looting took place,” Said Kampondeni.
Tony Blair, who is the Executive Chairman of the Institute for Global Change is Former Prime Minister of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.