Chilima calls for arrest of people involved in tractorgate


UTM leader Saulos Chilima has called for the arrest of government officials involved in the procurement and sale of tractors meant for smallholder farmers.

Chilima was speaking at a UTM rally held at St Augustine ground in Mangochi.

Last week, government apologised for selling the tractors which were bought using a US$50 million (about K39 billion) loan from India.

According to government, it failed to conduct a proper needs assessment in the beneficiary institutions to guide what equipment should be procured using the loan hence the tractors were sold.

Addressing his supporters on Sunday, Chilima said the issue should not end with an apology. He added that people who bought the tractors and government officials who facilitated the sale should be prosecuted.

“Malawians are the ones who will pay back the $50 million loan. So, all people who were involved in the irregular procurement of the tractors should be arrested and anyone found to have stolen the tractors should also be arrested,” Chilima said.

During the rally Chilima thanked people in the district for voting for him in the May 21 presidential elections in which the UTM leader amassed one million of the 5.1 million votes cast.

He said Malawians are concerned over the loss but he urged them to be hopeful saying another chance will come to vote for UTM.

According to Chilima, the party still aims to root out corruption, end nepotism and transform the country.

“We are a party that wants to serve Malawians. We still remember what we promised to do here in Mangochi. Do not worry because time will come when these projects will implemented,” Chilima said.