Malawi can change if we can curb thuggery, stealing & corruption-Simbi Phiri

Simbi Phiri, Chair and Founder of Khato Civils

South Africa based business mogul Simbi Phiri has spoken against the high levels of corruption which he said need to be urgently addressed if Malawi is to develop.

Speaking in an interview on ZBS’ Cruise 5, Phiri bemoaned the tendency of favouring foreign based companies in business contracts which he indicated is responsible for perpetuating corruption in the country.

He noted that despite boasting the best brains, Malawi still lags behind as the focus is more on white collar jobs instead of entrepreneurship.

Phiri, who is also Founder and Chairman of South Africa’s indigenously owned construction firm Khato Civils, bemoaned the exclusion of local companies in favour of foreign-owned ones arguing that once they taken over the economy, they invest the money in their countries.

He noted that when such is the case, the money goes to their countries stating that is one of the reasons Malawi is currently grappling with forex problems.

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The Salima Lilongwe water project being financed by the business mogul Phiri 

“If we can have a Finance Minister who understands that this country has a debt of so much the debt needs to be refinanced. There are no collections now. The Corona has really devastated the economy. Even if you put Barak Obama in Malawi going to run Malawi, he’ll tell you we need to borrow money here.

“If we have K5 billion let’s borrow K10 billion here pay back the K5 billion we have and then negotiate to start in five years. The next five years we’re building, making everybody employed, take road upgrades, upgrade telecommunications to 5G for e-learning so our Malawian children can study at Wits online they can study at University of Cape town online whether Harvard or Cambridge University, they can do that. 5G has to be properly installed in the country we need to upgrade” he said.

The Malawian billionaire called for a mindset change in order to curb the high levels of corruption in the country.

 “I’m saying Malawi can change if we can curb thuggery, stealing and corruption; if this corruption doesn’t end there is a problem. Those corrupt officials will give a tender to a Pakistan or an Indian because this is just corruption and this guy makes the money; not only is it corrupt, but when he makes the money; his company is in Dubai so the money goes to Dubai. That means the government of Malawi, Reserve bank of Malawi must pay this thing. You’re stealing from your country, you give an Indian guy K10 billion for him to give you K5 million or K10 million what nonsense is that in the head of a person?

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On cloud nine: Phiri's wife Sikhanyisiwe captured in action during her 50th birthday celebrations with Congolese star Koffi Olomide

“So let us change our mindset, let’s change our mindset at very individual level. It can’t be only Chakwera who is not stealing, the rest of the people are stealing,” observed  Simbi Phiri.  

On a lighter note, the business tycoon justified the recent lavish celebrations for his wife’s Sikhanyisiwe’s 50th birthday celebrations where Congolese Soukous star Koffi Olomide performed.

“My wife she’s been there for me. This is how I know how to celebrate. When my son got married did you see what we did? There was JB Mpiana he was here. So when my wife turns 50 ndiye kusabwere wina? Ndiye kuti ndikuchitanji?"