Civil Society Organisations under the banner National Advocacy Platform (NAP) had a meeting with Minister of Defence Harry Mkandawire where the minister admitted that the payment of about US$4.98 million (over K8 billion) was made to one of Zuneth Sattar’s companies called Malachite FZE.
Speaking to reporters on Thursday, chairperson of the National Advocacy Platform Benedicto Kondowe said the Minister of Defence confirmed to them that the payment of 4.98 million US dollars was initiated but he claimed that has not been finalized with the Reserve Bank of Malawi.
According to Kondowe, the payment does not relate to a new contract but it relates to the same contract which dates back to 2020.
“The Minister has also told us that some decisions were made to assign the responsibility of Malachite FZE to a new company named International Ahamd group which is a company supplying the military equipment in question. So as it stands now it means that Government is now directly dealing with the supplier, the payment in question if at all was finalized it meant to go directly to International Ahamd group,” said Kondowe.
Kondowe added that as National Advocacy Platform, they have demanded Government to suspend the payment until investigations are done.
“Having considered these issues we were of the view that there are still some issues that need further clarification also considering that the ACB has made some commitment to investigate into this transaction and on that point our view is that the initiated payment should be suspended until due negligence and investigation by ACB is done,” said Kondowe.
The CSOs have also demanded Government to address the Nation on this matter so that Malawians are informed in terms of how things are shaping up.