Minister of Finance Sosten Gwengwe has admitted that there is no US$6.8 billion (over K7 trillion) grant agreement between Malawi and Belgium-based Bridgin Foundation.
The minister has described the purported agreement as nonsense.
Gwengwe made the remarks today during pre-budget consultation which his ministry held in Lilongwe.
While closing the ceremony, Gwengwe complained that government does not raise enough funds through taxes and this leads to borrowing of funds, leaving the country deep in debt.
He then described claims that Malawi has US$6.8 billion from Bridgin as nonsense.
“There is no one who signed an agreement for money amounting to US$6.8 billion. That is just nonsense.
He added: “The real issues are the ones we are talking about. We should not come here to talk about Bridgin Foundation, that is nonsense.”
Ironically, Gwengwe was the one who signed the agreement on behalf of Malawi in presence of President Lazarus Chakwera during a ceremony held at State House in November last year.
When the agreement was signed on November 28, the government said the money would be used for construction, equipping, and full operationalization of a Hi-Tech Kamuzu University Teaching Hospital in Blantyre with satellites in Mzuzu, Lilongwe and Mangochi at $1 billion; development of power generation facilities with total installed capacity of One Gigawatt and related infrastructure upgrade and transmission at $3.3 billion; and construction of Twin Towers at Capital Hill at $230 million.
Other projects include construction and equipping of Mzuzu University Teaching, learning and research facilities for geo-mining and establishment of Business Park at $592 million and construction and equipment of MUST hi-tech technology and engineering hub at $185 million
In his remarks during the signing ceremony, Chakwera said the coming of the grant shows that he means business in his quest to make Malawi a better place for all Malawians.
After government announced the deal, many people warned that the agreement looked too good to be true and suspected that Malawi was being duped by the Bridgin Foundation.
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