The renowned Malawi-South African based business tycoon Simbi Phiri has distanced himself from rumors circulating in the social media that he has donated a $7 million Presidential jet to government.
According to the information circulating social media, Phiri who is doing constructions under Khato Civils across Africa bought a Syber jet SJ30 which is an American business jet built by SyberJet Aircraft worth $ 7 million to the Malawi government.
The information in the social media further claimed that Phiri said “the jet will ease the mobility of the President of Malawi when travelling abroad.”
Phiri is also quoted saying “It is not fair for the President of Malawi to be travelling on commercial flight, of course we are a poor nation but we need not to glorify our poverty at the expense of putting our president life at risk.”
Adding that “Many African business men have private jets so why should Malawi government not have one. I decided to donate this jet to Malawi government as my way of contributing to this nation as one of its citizen and making the office of the president of Malawi to have the respect that it deserves.”
However through the press statement dated 6 February, 2017 and signed by Taonga Botolo who is a media and Public Relations Officer for Khato Civils in Lilongwe, the rumor is not true.
“We would like to categorically dispel this false construct which only aims at defying the decorum of conducting business within government system.” reads part of the statement.
According to statement, Phiri has never spoken to anyone within or without government of any intention to avail funds for such a purchase.
“Information that is circulating in the social media is total fabrication, malicious, slanderous and deliberately twisted to distract Khato Civils from our core functions notable of which is to pump water from Lake Malawi to the capital city Lilongwe.” added the statement.
The statement further said that the focus of the company is to undertaking the water project to the best of our professional ability, nothing else.
“A consignment of equipment for the project is on the way into the country, a true indication that Khato Civils is preoccupied with this, nothing else.” it disclosed.
Phiri is therefore humbly appealing to fellow countrymen not to drag him into unfounded rumours that emanate from wishes of few citizens.
Some months ago Phiri was also at centre of another hoax story that made rounds on social media dragging him into assertions that he had promised a local football club a 60-seater coach.
‘It is our plea that those who come across any information linking Khato Civils or Mr. Simbi Phiri to any transaction should contact our offices for clarification before re-publishing same information in other fora thereby helping to spread falsehood.” concluded the statement.
Meanwhile, government is yet to issue a comment on the matter.