After reading in the media about the so-called mysterious jet which is flying the State President around, we carried our own very careful investigations. We were greatly shocked to find out that it is the same former Malawi Government plane which was flying Late Bingu around. It is the very same plane that President Joyce Banda swore to the Malawi nation and the world at large that she would never fly in.
She in fact urged her Government officials to sell this plane very quickly, telling us that she does not need it. She assured us all that she would be using commercial flights. We are now forced to conclude that all this was deliberate misinformation. There must have been some underground deals with the buyer of the plane, such as being assured of some favors, material or otherwise, or being allowed to fly in the plane afterwards in return for favorable transactions in the sale.
We now know that the plane was sold to a company called Bohnox Enterprise Limited. Although this company is registered in the Virgin Islands, the owner, a Mr Ivor Ischikowitz, is a resident of SouthAfrica. He also owns Paramount Group, a company which deals in military hardware and it is registered in South Africa. This is thecompany which paid for the UK PR firm which came to Malawi to clean upthe President’s image in the face of Cashgate scandal. In addition,this is the same company that sold us seven gun boats to patrol over Lake Malawi soon after our lake dispute with Tanzania started.
We all remember how the State House chose to hide the source of funding for the UK PR firm. The revelations came from an overseas publication. Now the same State House is being very tongue-tied about the secret well-wisher who is providing this mysterious plane for the President to fly around.
We worried then about how the Paramount Group funded the PR firm andwhy the State House wanted to hide it all. This is obviously because we know that there is a high propensity for bribes, corruption, and fraud in sales and transactions of military hardware worldwide. We were somewhat relieved when we read that President Joyce Banda has terminated her contract with the UK PR firm even if this may have been done in order to avoid the discovery of more irregularities in the deal.
We now would like to leave it up to the Malawi public to figure out why a South African resident should use a Virgin Island registered company to buy a plane from the Malawi Government, paint it differently and change its registration number, keep it in South Africa, and clandestinely fly the President of Malawi around the globe in that plane. This situation is made more troublesome by the fact that the State House still wants to keep all these facts secret from the Malawi public. They cannot somehow learn from the PR firm fiasco.
We also hear that this is the same company which leased MbalachandaEstate from ADMARC and also owns Engen Oil Company in Malawi. We now must ask ourselves that with such level of presence in Malawi, how many other secret deals is the PP Government making with this company?
To what extent is the company willing to go to fund the cleaning up the Government image in the face of scandals like Cash-gate?
Can this Government assure us that there are no elements of Cash-gate in its dealings with this company that may show up elsewhere like in the on-going forensic audit? In short, is Paramount Group not another Cash-gate company?
Dr Jean A Kalilani, MP
DEMOCRATIC PROGRESSVE PARTY