Chikaonda goes to town on politicians
National Bank of Malawi (NBM) board chairperson professor Matthews Chikaonda on Tuesday seized the opportunity at the official opening of the bank’s business centre and office complex in Blantyre to point out weaknesses among politicians.
Malawi President Joyce Banda graced the occasion held at Number 7 Henderson Street in Blantyre, but before the President spoke, Chikaonda, who once served as finance minister in the United Democratic Front administration, had a field day on politicians.
From the word go, Chikaonda said he sought approval from the President to disclose what happened in Mzuzu when the late president Bingu wa Mutharika went to open the bank’s service centre.
He said politicians that never wanted people to speak were now in Banda’s People’s Party (PP). He told them that the President has created an atmosphere for them to coexist and redeem themselves.
In reference to concerns that a lot of money has been allocated to maintenance of State Residences, Chikaonda said some facilities in the residences could be commercialised by hiring them out for private functions and use the money generated to maintain them.
Chikaonda, who, by virtue of his position as group chief executive officer for Press Corporation Limited (PCL), also chairs the board of TNM and Malawi Telecommunications Limited (MTL), then ruffled a few feathers when he accused the Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (Macra) of being political.
Ironically, both Macra director general Charles Nsaliwa and board chairperson Ted Nandolo were present at the function when Chikaonda said he did not understand why the regulatory body was paying K800 million (close to $3.2m) dividend to government instead of erecting towers in remote areas to facilitate telecommunications development.
He also attacked Macra’s controversial ‘spy machine’.
Nandolo who looked unmoved, in an interview later, refused to comment on Chikaonda’s remarks, arguing that Chikaonda was in a better position to know what he was talking about.