Parliament adopts motion on Privatisation Commission report

Parliament has adopted a motion which will see Minister of Finance submitting to the House a comprehensive report on status of privatisation and compliance with the terms of privatisation for each of the privatize companies to date.

Lawmaker for Mzimba North Yeremiah Chihana who moved the Motion in the House said since government embarked on sale of a lot of State-owned companies to private individuals, Parliament has never been appraised of the matter.

Speaking to Yoneco FM, Chihana said through the Minister of Finance, the Privatisation Commission should submit to National Assembly in compliance with the conditions and terms of agreement with the Malawi Government.

“But the concession has ended up as if it was a complete asset stripping and selling of land to foreigners which would not have been accepted and our friends [other countries] have not tolerated that, they have made sure that land remains in the hands of locals.

“But in this case Malawi has been selling the companies with land being sold outright to foreigners which has been a very bad thing, apart from that the Privatisation Commission which was mandate to handle this transaction, it was meant to monitor and advise Parliament on annual basis,” said Chihana.

He further observed the privatization drive is losing its intended focus of benefiting to the best interest of Malawians.

“The genesis of creating public sector enterprises was to create jobs and opportunities for local Malawians and to create wealth and economic growth for Malawians.

“But over the years, there was a turnaround so that we could look at companies which were State-owned and they were seen as non-performing and the drive was for companies to be sold and given to private ownership,” he said.

According to Chihana, the genesis of doing what we call privatisation it was not intended companies and land, the genesis was to sell the business as an entity and it could be run under contract or concession.

In the late 90s the Malawi Government, through advice from development partners, embarked on a privatization drive during which the Malawi Government sold a lot of State-owned companies to private individuals and commercial entities.

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