But on Wednesday, finance minister Maxwell Mkwezalamba told journalists at media briefing in Lilongwe that no part of the money realized from the Jet sale was diverted towards FILP as Joyce Banda made us to believe.
“The proceeds from the Presidential Jet sale were used to buy military equipment for peace keeping in DRC, maize and medical drugs,” said Mkwezalamba.
Mkwezalamba also pointed out that the money did not reach government account as it was agreed that the Bohnox Enterprise Ltd (the buyer) should pay Paramount Group the $15 million to clear part of the arrears that the Malawi government owed the company.
“Actually, no single Kwacha came to Malawi,” said Mkwezakamba.
Mkwezalamba said the government owed Paramount $19.2 million in respect of military artillery procured early last year.
According to the minister, government reallocated money from the Malawi Defence Force (MDF) to the procurement of maize and medical drugs considering that the budget allocated to MDF was also earmarked for the same (buying military equipment and also pay the arrears to Paramount Group).
He, however, pointed out that the money used for peace keeping will be reimbursed as per United Nations procedures.
“I want to make it clear here. Some people have been saying that a country is not supposed to buy equipment for peace keeping operations. The fact is that a country buys the equipment only that the UN reimburse the money after the operations,” he said.
The breakdown of the transaction according to finance minister is as follows: K2.8 billion for peace keeping mission, K1.5 billion for procurement of maize and another K1.5 billion for medical drugs.