State House distances Malawi First Lady from K7.8 billion contract

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The State House has dismissed claims that First Lady Madame Gertrude Mutharika owns a ghost company that was awarded a K7.8 billion contract.

Presidential spokesperson Mgeme Kalirani made the remarks following statements on social media implicating the First Lady in the dubious contract.

President Mutharika and the First Lady

“Some ill-minded individuals twisted the story so as to implicate the First Lady to satisfy their malicious intentions.

“The claims by the propagandists against the First Lady or the State House are literally unfounded,” said Kalirani in the statement on Tuesday.

Last month, a newspaper reported that government awarded a lucrative contract to a company that does not exist.

The company named Black & Veach was given the contract by Kam’mwamba Coal-Fired Power Generation Company (KPGC), a parastatal which is now dissolved.

Statements posted on social media later claimed that the company was owned by the First Lady.

Kalirani on Tuesday said President Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika wants investigating authorities to get to the bottom of the matter regarding the alleged ghost contract.

According to Kalirani, Mutharika also want Malawians to use the social media responsibly and avoid using the otherwise good platform to victimize or character assassinate innocent individuals.

Speaking on the issue last month, Minister of Natural Resources, Energy and Mining Bintony Kutsaira said the ‘ghost’ company was never awarded the contract since negotiations were cancelled.

He added that after the cancellation, Government placed responsibility of developing the Kam’mwamba Coal Power Project on Egenco.

Kutsaira also claimed that the company which entered into negotiations with KPGC was not Black and Veach but Black and Veatch, a United States based firm which has offices in South Africa

However, a Black & Veatch spokesperson told the local media that the company does not have an entity in Malawi.

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