United Kingdom former prime minister Tony Blair met with President Lazarus Chakwera at Kamuzu Palace in Lilongwe on Wednesday.
State House Press Secretary Anthony Kasunda confirmed the development, saying Blair attended to business related to the Tony Blair Institute, which he chairs.
“Tony Blair, Executive Chairman of Tony Blair Institute (TBI) for Global Change, arrived in Malawi on a one-day visit to attend to TBI matters. During the visit, Mr Blair also paid a brief courtesy call on His Excellency Dr Lazarus Chakwera at Kamuzu Palace, where he congratulated the President and Malawians on marking 58 years of independence,” he said.
Kasunda said the two leaders did not discuss state affairs in the country as it was just a courtesy call.
TBI for Global Change has been in the country to help sharpen the current administration’s delivery and implementation mechanisms.
In 2020, Information Minister and government spokesperson Gospel Kazako told the media that TBI’s assistance was in kind and that there was no contract for its work.
The government’s decision to engage TBI did not go well with commentators, who argued that the country has able people for the job but Kazako insisted the institute came on its own through communication between the government and Blair.
“There is no contractual agreement between the Malawi Government and TBI. The assistance is in kind since TBI is a non-profit making institution that fundraises for its operations from philanthropic endeavours, foundations like Bill and Melinda Gates and other financing institutions,” he said.
Youth and Society Executive Director Charles Kajoloweka argued that the engagement of TBI creates a parallel structure to the reforms being championed by the Department of Public Sector Reforms.