Simbi accuses Finance Minister of frustrating Lake Malawi water project

Simbi Phiri

Businessperson Simbi Phiri has accused Minister of Finance Joseph Mwanamvekha of frustrating the Salima-Lilongwe Water Project for political reasons.

Phiri owns Khato Civils, the company awarded the K400 billion Salima-Lilongwe water project.

He said in an interview with Zodiak that Mwanamvekha does not want Khato to continue with the works because the minister fears that Simbi Phiri will use the profits to sponsor opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP).

He also rejected claims that there are no financiers for the project or that the financiers who were available were demanding a high interest for the loan.

According to Phiri, his company was told by government to identify financiers and so far there are three funders who are ready.

He added that President Peter Mutharika expressed his approval for the project on three separate occasions but there is lack of commitment from the people around the president.

“Mwanamvekha and his group are the ones rejecting the project,” he said.

During the interview, Phiri also said that his company has already spent a lot of money for the project and is expecting government to pay back the company.

“We have done our part of the contract, it is the government that is failing to fulfill its part,” he said.

In 2019, the company said it had used about K57 billion for the early stages of the project.

The Salima-Lilongwe Water Supply Project seeks to pump treated water from Lake Malawi in Salima to Lilongwe and surrounding districts.