Map boss to raise K12bn for presidential jet
As the debate on whether the country’s President needs a jet or not continues, General Manager for the financially struggling charity organisation, Malawi Against Physical Disability (Map), Sydney Ndembe, on Monday launched an appeal for well-wishing Malawians to raise K12 billion for the jet.
In a paid-up notice that he placed in a local newspaper, Ndembe said he is willing to put forward K200,000 as a starter pack for the initiative.
He has given the project a three to four-month time frame and hopes that by the end of that period K12 billion will have been raised.
Ironically, Ndembe has been struggling to fundraise for Map. In a Hard Talk interview with our sister paper Malawi News, conducted in May 2013, Ndembe bemoaned that no-one was willing to help his organisation with its K450 million annual budget.
Ndembe has over the years been saying that Map has been gasping to fund some of its operations including the running of mobile rehabilitation clinics, provision of wheelchairs for the underprivileged people with disabilities as well as salaries for its 157 workers spread across the country.
But, in an interview, Ndembe said he finds it bad to observe the country’s President standing on a queue waiting for a plane and he is optimistic that some people will come forward and support his appeal.
“Already today [Monday], I have received seven calls and people are pledging. So I am very sure that some people are interested and will contribute to support the project.
“Whether there are a lot of people who might not be interested, there are some people who might be interested. Those who are interested, that’s well and good, those who don’t want, let them stay,” Ndembe said.
He said the fact that he has gone into the presidential jet appeal project does not mean he has stopped asking well-wishers to fund Map.
“I have been dispersing letters to people that they have to help Map but you can’t force people to fund. You know already that we have been doing that, isn’t it? I know the people in Malawi have a misconception that Map is a rich organisation.
“I tell you. I have written many letters to the government and other well wishers. But this jet appeal is a short time thing. It will take a very short period and it will go and we will be doing our job,” he said.
Ndembe said there is nothing political in whatever he is doing claiming he sympathises with no leader or political party in the initiative.
“I am not looking for a jet for the DPP [Democratic Progressive Party] or any other political party. I am looking for a jet for the nation not for the politicians. I am not a politician. If I wanted to be a politician, I would be a politician a long time ago but I am not. I work for Map and that’s where my energy is going to go,” Ndembe said.
Among others, Ndembe said a proper committee comprising real well wishing people not ‘cashgaters’ will be set up as soon as he gets the required response.
He said the funds will be going into an account that will be opened, strictly monitored and audited and at the end of everything the committee will source the plane that will be used by any sitting president.
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