President Peter Mutharika lied to Malawians during his whistle-stop tour in Blantyre on Sunday, it has been revealed.
According to a fact-check by Martin Mgwazo Njobvu, Mutharika made several false statements during rallies held as part of the tour.
“After the death of Bingu, Joyce Banda’s government failed to finish the construction of Masauko-Chipembere Highway, MUST, Bingu National Stadium, BICC, but the DPP government has finished all of these projects,” Mutharika said.
But Njobvu noted that the president lied about the projects he mentioned.
On the Bingu National Stadium, Njobvu observed that the stadium took shape during the reign of former President Joyce Banda who also changed later President Bingu wa Mutharika’s plan to have the Chinese-funded stadium built in Lilongwe not Blantyre.
“According to the 2012 China-Malawi agreement signed by the then Finance Minister Dr Ken Lipenga, the project duration was 2 years, starting from 1 July 2013 to November 30, 2015. When the ground was broken, the project ran steadily. This is why he [Mutharika] was able to inaugurate the soccer house in 2016.
“The delay however, came when he, APM, came into power. Firstly, there was proliferation of theft cases on the site. This affected the duration of the project. Secondly, and more significantly, there were disagreements on naming. While all stakeholders wanted it to be called Lilongwe Stadium, DPP-led government insisted that it would be called Bingu National Stadium. There was even debate in Parliament on this in 2015,” Njobvu said.
The fact-check further revealed that Mutharika also lied when he said that former President Banda stopped the construction of Malawi University of Science and Technology.
According to Njobvu, the Banda-led government actually secured funds for furniture and fittings, books and teaching materials since the loan secured from China had been for construction of university buildings only.
Njobvu said: “As a matter of fact, the university opened its doors in March, 2014 by JB herself, months before APM took over the presidency from her. So which MUST did he complete?”
During his rally, Mutharika also claimed that his predecessor halted construction of the Bingu International Conventional Centre which the five-star hotel is part of.
However, the hotel was handed over to government in 2012 while Banda was in power but was officially opened in 2015 after Mutharika became president.
“Umodzi Holdings’ records show that significant work was completed while JB was still in power. And when Peermont was signing the management contract with Umodzi in October 2014, what was remaining was some fittings here and there, and some interior design finishes,” Njobvu said.