Simbi Phiri – PR crusade

LILONGWE (Muchanakhwaye KhwepeyaMalawi NewsNow ) –Billionaire international contractor Mr Ashan Simbi Phiri is in massive public relations campaign which has seen him sponsoring journalists and PR consultants go to South Africa for interviews at his Johannesburg headquarters.

Journalists from the major media houses which include Times media, Zodiak, Nation Publications Limited  were flown to South Africa to interview Simbi who has a Malawian father, a mother from Botswana and married a Zimbabwe woman.

This comes at a time when some quarters are questioning the government why it awarded Simbi’s Khato Construction company a US$500 million (about K30 billion) water project through single sourcing.

But in an interview in South Africa, Simbi Phiri claimed it was a closed tender and he beat other competitors including Chinese and Indians.

“They are crying foul because I beat them, I was awarded the contract on merit,” said Phiri.

Simbi said he worked hard to reach where he is.

He therefore said those who claim he corruptly amassed his wealth are just jealous of him.

Simbi also said he sponsored the Malawi Congress Party (MCP) and Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) during the 2014 general election.

“They seperately came to me and asked for sponsorship. After listening to them, I gave them what I had,” he said.

He said the MCP asked for funding in 2009 but he did not give them the money saying he did not like John Tembo who was standing as a presidential candidate for the MCP/UDF alliance owing to his past human rights record during the one party state.

Simbi also said he does not have political ambitions in Malawi, saying after all, he now holds a South African citizenship.