Malawi: Simbi Issues Stern Warning to DPP - 'I Can Fight Back 10 Time More'

23 February 2020

The construction industry mogul Ashan Simbi Phiri has reacted to moves by governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) which during its demonstrations last wek carried placards that he allegedly financed the opposition to bribe High Court judges to rule in favour of the petitioners in the presidential nullification petition case, warning that if the DPP officials want to continue fighting him, he can take the fight to them ten-fold.

In an interview monitored by Nyasa Times on Zodiak TV, Simbi who is Khato Civils (Pty) Limited executive chairperson said he doesn't like antagonism, but he can fight back.

He was speaking to Zodiak Broadcasting Station (ZBS) journalist Daniel Mababa and disclosed that that politicians from almost all the major political parties go to him to ask for money for their campaigns, confirming that he has generously assisted DPP as a party and several other individuals, "including those obstructing Khato's Lake Malawi Water Supply Project valued at U$500 million (about K400 billion) to take off".

Simbi Phiri said he has also assisted individuals in the opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP), United Democratic Front (UDF) and Alliance for Democracy (Aford).

"When we do have that which we can have, we do [donate] when these people approach me," Phiri said, dismissing assumptions that he belongs to any of these political parties.

Justifying his assistance, Simbi Phiri said when they approach him, they appear as people that are out there to help bring development to Malawi, but they lack resources.

He claimed some of the politicians wose campaign for parliamentary seats he financed are now Cabinet ministers, but are sadly turning on him and taking his name to the streets during demonstrations, alleging that he gave money to the opposition to bribe judges who handled the presidential nullification petition case.

"If you have information that I gave money to bribe judges, why not take that to the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB)? Why take my name to the streets, and not to ACB?" he queried. He further complained that some politicians in DPP, whom he did not name, are blocking the water supply project because they think the money would go to MCP.

Simbi Phiri said when he meets President Peter Mutharika, he gets an impression of a gentleman and in-charge of things, but his ministers turn around and spoil everything immediately he walks out.

He explained that he is close to MCP president Lazarus Chakwera for a simple reason that his home in Mchinji is only 20 kilometres away to Chakwera's, adding that he cannot look at Chakwera as an enemy as some people in DPP would want.

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