Last week, we, members of the Bottom Up expedition, asked one simple question: Where is Beam Trust? We still ask as representatives of average Malawians, anthu wamba, wananchi as they are called in Kenya, or abaturage in Rwanda. We are messengers of the villagers and urbanites whose vote takes people to the rooftop and takes them down to the abyss.
Curiously, the Malawi Government has not answered.
The NGO Board, which legally regulates all non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and trusts operating in Malawi, did not answer. The Council for Non-Governmental Organisations in Malawi (Congoma), whose mandate is to coordinate activities of all international and national NGOs, community based-organisations (CBOs), trusts and charities which scrutinises and advises NGOs. The registrar of companies, too, did not answer.
These should have known had Beam Trust wound up and where the hard assets had disposed off to.
The Financial Intelligence Agency and the ACB did not answer. Parliament did not answer.
The Malawi Police Service did not answer. At least these service organisations should have investigated on Malawians’ behalf.
Even the cities of Blantyre, Zomba, Mzuzu and Lilongwe, which used to hire and patronise Beam Trust assets and pay huge sums of money, did not answer.
More shockingly, even the employees of Beam Trust did not answer.
The matron, owner, founder, director general of Beam Trust, Professor Dr Gertrude Mutharika, did not answer. The website, phone numbers, and Beam’s other auto-service platforms did not answer.
To us, this means the assets have grown wings and disappeared into very thin hydrogen ‘air’. The last time similar hardware, weighing tonnes, disappeared and could not be accounted for was between 2011 and 2014 when tractors and maize shellers bought with a loan from the Exim Bank of India were pocketed by the very people who called the Sonolinka Tractors obsolete. The same obsolete tractors are still tilling farms on hire.
Bottom Up investigations revealed at that time that some of the tractors and shellers had been shipped to someone’s farm in Zimbabwe.
Are Beam Trust assets still in Malawi? If they still are, where are they and why are they not being used? It is interesting that out of 13 million official Malawians, no one knows where the Beam Assets are.
As a reminder, Beam or Beautify Malawi Trust was created by the then First Lady, Gertrude Mutharika, sorry, Professor Dr Gertrude Mutharika, to mobilise us ‘dirty’ Malawians to “practise responsible, participatory, and improved management of waste and the environment to improve health” and quality of our life.
This expedition, led by our indefatigable, genuine Prof Dr Joyce Befu, MEGA-1, will not leave any stone unturned until the Beam Trust assets are found and put back into use.
Monkey Bay is now Nankumba Town
As previously communicated, we have consulted widely and arrived at a decision to rename some of the buildings, roads, and places. We hereby “gazette” the names and after one working week, the names will take effect unless there be reasonable challenges to the changes.
Jomo Kenyatta Road in Blantyre is Bakili Muluzi Road. Jomo Kenyatta Road in Lilongwe is now Joyce Banda Road. Paul Kagame Road in Lilongwe reverts to Chief Chilambula Road.
Queen’s Road from Crossroads Roundabout up to Chitipi in Lilongwe is now Justin Malewezi Road.
Monkey Bay is now Nankumba Town and includes what was previously erroneously named Cape Maclear.
The beach there reverts to Chembe. The lodge called Fat Monkeys must immediately change names or close