Tony Blair helping Chakwera at zero cost – State House

State House has defended President Lazarus Chakwera’s decision to engage former British Prime Minister Tony Blair as governance advisor saying Blair and his institute will provide the services for free.

Director of Communications at State House Sean Kampondeni said this today at a briefing in Blantyre.

It was revealed over the weekend that the Chakwera administration has hired the Tony Blair Institute (TBI) to set up a new project at State House to support the Government of Malawi to “strengthen its delivery and implementation mechanisms”.

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

This led to concerns that the engagement of the Blair Institute will lead to wastage of taxpayer’s funds.

Kampondeni confirmed that Chakwera engaged Blair to send technical experts to Malawi. He added that three people who he described as experts from TBI are in the country but he said taxpayer’s money will not be used in the engagement of the experts.

“It will not cost taxpayers a single kwacha for these people to provide this service.

“The president is welcoming of any help from any experts who are willing to do so without taking advantage of taxpayer money.

“The president is persuaded that these experts are committed to assisting him deliver his agenda,” said Kampondeni.

According to Kampondeni, the experts will set up a delivery unit that will diagnose deficiencies in the government machinery and address them in order to improve competency of governance institutions.

He added that TBI provides consultancy services to 16 other African countries hence has a database of governance mistakes and issues which the Chakwera administration is grateful to have access to.

“The president as incoming chair of SADC wants to gain insight into the governance situation within the [SADC] region,” said Kampondeni.

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