Malawi’s president, Joyce Banda, at the opening of a shopping mall owned by the Chinese company Sogecoa that was recently under investigation by the Anti-Corruption Bureau, called on more Chinese investment in the country.
Earlier this month, The Nation ran a story that pointed to irregularities in the process for awarding exploration licenses to mining companies.
Chimgwede, a reporter for The Nation, stated the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) received a complaint that Ben Botolo, the Secretary for Natural Resources, Energy and the Environment, had received USD 200 000 (approx. MWK 56 million) from Sogecoa to influence the award of a prospecting license. Sogecoa was also said to be using Chinese National Oil Exploration Company as a front in their bidding for prospecting rights. We blogged about it two weeks ago.
The company opened a 4-Star Golden Peacock Hotel in 2011 in Lilongwe. It is building a second hotel behind the Golden Peacock and the shopping mall is next to the hotel complex.
Banda seeks more foreign direct investment to set Malawi’s economy back on track
I would like to encourage more Chinese investors to come and invest in Malawi. This will help us achieve our goals as laid in the Economic Recovery Plan (ERP).
Just over two decades ago China’s economy was not as it is. But their current status did not just come; it was through hard work. So I would like to challenge all Malawians to produce more from your fields and exhaust this newly opened shopping mall.
The Chinese Ambassador to Malawi, Pan Hejun, responded positively to the president’s remarks.
As Malawi’s development partner, the People’s Republic of China will continue to bring Chinese investors with good reputation to Malawi so that we create more jobs for the people of Malawi.
The opening of the Sogecoa Shopping Mall in Malawi capital comes two weeks after the unveiling of the 101 kilometre tarmac road covering the distance between the two northern border districts, Karonga and Chitipa, funded by the Chinese government.
Reports suggest that a significant number of cabinet ministers and the head of the civil service attended the opening. The Malawi Voice reported that “taxpayers money are expected to be blown out through allowances and fuel expenses”.