Joyce Banda insists that the order of armed vessels from a South African defence firm “was a request from the people”, despite Malawian finances being hit by donors’ departure over corruption scandal
The president of Malawi told The Telegraph’s Aislinn Laing that the purchase of patrol boats for use on Lake Malawi was to help prevent Somali refugees from ending up in the country.
Concerns have been raised about the president’s spending plans at a time when donors have frozen aid over a corruption scandal. The IMF recently called for budgets to be restricted and social spending to be prioritised.
She insisted the buying of equipment for the army was a priority.
“This is a very, very serious matter. I have been asking all our friends ‘get me patrol boats for the lake. Our borders are so porous.
“They [Somalis] buy passports so they leave this country now as Malawians, to the United States, United Kingdom.”
The British government last week froze aid payments to the country, which were set to reach £92 million next year, amid allegations of widespread state corruption.
Asked whether the people of Malawi – one of the poorest nations in the world – would be happy with their leader spending money on patrol boats, President Banda insisted that demand for the vessels “was a request from the people.”
Source : Telegraph