Lilongwe Water Board (LWB) provided K30 million for the construction of the replica of the Statue of Liberty which is also known as fingerpole.
According to documents Malawi24 has seen, LWB which is a government owned company funded the statue as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility.
The board hired Gaston Arts of Lilongwe to construct the statue at Parliament Roundabout.
In a letter to LWB chief executive officer dated 21 November, 2018, Gaston Arts boss Bright Mtendema requested for upfront payment of K17.5 million for the company to construct the statue.
“We would like to start work as soon as possible before the full swing of the rains. We do not readily have money available to go on with the work. We are therefore turning to you for an upfront payment of K17,577,060.09 which is 60% of the contract price. We further propose a 20% payment of K5,859,020 on 80% of the works done and the final 20% of K5,859,020 on completion of the work,” wrote Mtendema.
The board responded on 23 November that the two parties should proceed as advised and it then paid the K17.5 million, according to a payment voucher dated 12 December, 2018.
The statue which always seems uncompleted was built during the administration of former President Peter Mutharika.
It was reportedly commissioned by Beautify Malawi, an organisation run by former First Lady Gertrude Mutharika. The organisation has a history of demanding money from parastatal organisation as in 2014 it also received funding from National Aids Commission.
Since Mutharika was booted out of power, Malawians have been demanding the Lilongwe City Council to demolish the statue saying it has no meaning yet it was erected on the presidential way in the City Centre.