On July 20th, 2011 late President Prof Bingu Wa Mutharika addressed a public lecture at the New State House (now Kamuzu Palace) in Lilongwe. In his address Professor Mutharika said that the fuel shortages that were facing Malawi then were apart from many other factors, as a result of a serious shortage in fuel storage facilities. He said his government had embarked on plans to rehabilitate the abandoned existing fuel storage facilities. He also disclosed that was not going to be enough and as a result, he was to construct new fuel storage facilities in Blantyre, Lilongwe and Mzuzu.
As Mutharika was conducting this lecture in State House, Malawians who did not agree with his views were busy in the country’s main urban centres looting, vandalising and demonstrating against the Mutharika regime. The demonstrations were party financed by the then Vice President Joyce Banda and the current Energy Minister Cassim Chilumpha took part in the demos. Vice President Joyce Ntila Banda then described Mutharika as mlendo who didn’t know Malawi well saying constructing new fuel facilities was just day dreaming.
The opponents to Mutharika said the wisest thing Mutharika could do was to rehabilitate the old facilities and not construct new ones. 7 months after the death of Mutharika, Joyce Ntila Banda is the State President of Malawi, Chilumpha Energy Minister and Ken Lipenga still Finance Minister. Today, Lipenga, who was then double crossing Mutharika to Joyce Banda has convinced the Malawi National Assembly to approve a loan to borrow money and fulfill the Mutharika dream and vision for the new fuel facilities. Kudos to Bingu for being so visionary that even 7 months after your death, people can still discuss and approve your dream.
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