Social commentators are taunting the Malawi-China development deal as a laughing stock, saying the agreement is a reflection of President Peter Mutharika’s lack of vision to develop the country to ‘Europe standard’ as he had promised in 2014.
Last week, Malawi and China signed a deal which will see the Chinese providing grants for the implementation of three different projects.
The three agreements, according to state-owned Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC), are; 4th Phase of Malawi Parliament under which the Chinese will maintain the Parliament Building for the next two years; reconstruction and extension of the M1 Road into a Dual Carriage from the Mchinji Round About to Kamuzu International Airport and carry out feasibility on power development planning and power transmission line.
Under the power project, a transmission power line will be erected from Chipata, Zambia to Lilongwe enabling Malawi to tap power from Zambia.
However, Malawians took to social media to express their displeasure in the agreements. Commentators say the agreement has turned Malawi to a laughing stock at a global stage when compared to deals that other countries have made with China.
“To China you go with your vision, and they assist you according to your vision. Ethiopia came back with the Hawassa Industrial Complex. Kenya came back with the Mombasa Nairobi railway line and glittering new trains.
“We have come back with a plumbing contract, fixing lights of the Parliament Building, that sort of thing. And oh, there is also a dual-carriage road from the Mchinji roundabout to the (Kamuzu International) Airport. In addition, there is a feasibility study to import electricity from Chipata, Zambia. That was our vision, and China has assisted us accordingly” Stanley Onjezani Kenani posted on Facebook.
Seasoned journalist, Idriss ali Nassah, concurred with Kenani, that the the country’s vision is not transformative. He however blamed law makers for failing to have an oversight on deals Malawi sets with development partners.
“And I hear we have borrowed from China to finance the construction of yet another stadium in Blantyre. Functionally, Parliament should have oversight over these deals but our Parliament is full of people who don’t understand their role and who don’t care to read the fine print of these loans” commented Idriss Ali Nassah.
Richard Duwa inferred that the leadership in Malawi was only interested in garnering votes to remain in power.
“Then one wonders as to what kind of leadership we have in this Republic . We look at what they see as priorities one would easily see that Malawi as a nation has put it’s priorities upside down. We have kind of leaders that would just do something only to amass votes during elections but not for the common good.”