Chakwera faulted for hiring Tony Blair as advisor


A social commentator has faulted President Lazarus Chakwera for hiring former British Prime Minister Tony Blair as advisor saying Blair is only coming to Malawi to harvest poor people’s taxes.

The commentator Onjezani Kenani made the remarks following reports that Tony Blair Institute for Global Change (TBI) is looking to set up a new project at State House to support the Government of Malawi to “strengthen its delivery and implementation mechanisms”.

According to TBI website, project will also potentially support other parts of the Presidency such as communications and international affairs.

Blair was also advisor to former President Joyce Banda who ruled Malawi between 2012 and 2014

“The Project will need to be established and demonstrate results in a short period. It will need to be proximate to the President, and always remain relevant to his key priorities. It will also need to identify and implement technological solutions to key Presidential priorities,” TBI says.

According to TBI, the project will further seek to strengthen connections with other key ministries and agencies hence the TBI Malawi team led by Country Head may extend to include “advisors in these or other Ministries, depending on the sectoral priorities of the Presidency.”

Kenani, the social commentator, in a series of Facebook posts claimed that the advisors will be paid K6 million a month for doing a job which Malawians are already doing.

“What do they mean, “strengthening delivery in the Presidency”? It means nothing. They are simply coming to harvest the taxes of the poor, like they did last time. All paid for by the poor people of Malawi. This is not right. President Lazarus Chakwera is wrong to entertain this nonsense,” said Kenani

He noted that Chakwera has 21 advisors all of whom are entitled to benefits paid for by taxpayers and the president also has a communications team at State House.

“With such a phalanx of advisors, Dr Chakwera’s government still wants to bring in Tony Blair’s people. It would have been OK if they were to be paid by their own resources but no, we will be paying for everything. The poor who are sleeping on queues to buy fertilizers will be paying for everything. The poor without medicine and equipment in hospitals will be paying for everything. K700 million per year. This is sad. If you guys have run out of ideas to run this country just say so,” said Kenani.