Malawi President Joyce Banda has said former British Prime Minister Tony Blair’s Africa Governance Initiative (AGI) is winding up its work in Malawi at the end of this month based on mutual agreement and understanding.
Reacting to news that Blair has dumped President Banda, presidential press secretary Steven Nhlane in a statement on Monday said government and AGI agreed that in view of the May 2014 general elections, AGI would plan to accomplish their work by January 2014.
AGI’s mandate, according to State House, was to help build systems in the President’s office and to support government’s effectiveness.
“In view of this initial arrangement, AGI is winding up its work in Malawi at the end of this month based on this mutual agreement and understanding.
“The AGI team has been on holiday for Christmas and New Year and returns to Malawi in a week’s time and will have end-of-project meetings with all stakeholders and wrap up of its project,” said Nhlane.
He dismissed as untrue reports that Blair is quitting as President Banda’s adviser as alleged in the January 5 2014 Sunday Telegraph of the United Kingdom which was picked up by the local press.
“In addition, there is no link whatsoever between AGI’s winding up and the looting of government coffers as alleged by the media.
“It is also not correct to say the AGI team was helping the President to run this nation. As already stated, the AGI’s mandate was to help strengthen systems in the President’s office and support towards government effectiveness.
“As stated in our press release of 20 December 2013, government is grateful to AGI for its support and would be pleased to continue working with it after the elections. AGI also stated in its recent press statement that it is ready to come back to Malawi after the elections if invited,” he said.