Africa & World

Chakwera hires Tony Blair as advisor, gives him office at Malawi State House

FORMER United Kingdom Prime Minister Tony Blair wants to set up an advisory office on governance results delivery at Malawi State House and the Office of the President and Cabinet.

This marks a return to the poor SADC country six years after Blair and his team pulled out as official consultants in January 2014 to the then president Joyce Banda.

According to Tony Blair’s website, the Blair Institute is looking to set up a new project to support the government of Malawi to strengthen its delivery and implementation mechanisms.

“This is likely to include a delivery function in State House, but also potentially support other parts of the presidency such as communications and international affairs,” says the website.

The Tony Blair Africa Governance Initiative (AGI), a charity set up by the former prime minister, opened the same office in Malawi during the Joyce Banda administration but closed down soon after the K30 billion ‘cashgate’ corruption scandal emerged.

The AGI had been working closely with Mrs Banda and stepped up its “Malawi project” when it sent four advisers to the capital Lilongwe since July 2012 and the agreement was to support President Banda up to the presidential election in 2014.

Banda lost the elections but helped to propel the incumbent President Lazarus Chakwera to power through the Tonse Alliance and is a close ally to the Head of State.

The institute says will seek to strengthen connections with other key ministries and agencies both in the centre (the vice president’s office and the ministry of Finance and Economic Planning.

Others include ministry of Energy, the ministry of Agriculture, the ministry of Industry, the ministry of Trade, the Malawi Investment and Trade Centre and the ministries covering infrastructure.

The statement says the Malawi team may extend to include advisors in these or other ministries, depending on the sectoral priorities of the presidency. – Nyasa Times ■

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