A picture is circulating on the Malawian social media showing President of the poorest nation in the world Peter Mutharika queueing at an airport on his way to the Commonwealth Summit in Malta. Surprisingly some citizens of his poor nation are not happy with their President flying in a Commercial airline wishing he had chartered a Private jet that would cost the nation a fortune.
The Malawi leader left his country on another Commercial airline flight Malawian airlines. It is said that from Lilongwe, Mutharika connected to South Africa. In South Africa he took a long flight to Rome and waited for four hours at an airport in Rome before connecting to Malta.
A few weeks ago, Mutharika was adamant when he was cornered over his decision to take a Private jet to the UN summit in USA.
I do not care what you say, my office deserves respect
In a Press briefing that Mutharika held after a return from New York for the UNGA, an angry Mutharika told off a reporter who was pressing him on whether he will keep chartering a jet.
“I don’t care whether you don’t like me as a person but the office of the President deserves some respect,” an angry Malawi leader said to the journalists justifying why he had to keep chartering Private jets.
“Do you want your President to be waiting at the airport for 10 hours?” an angry Mutharika said while banging on his table.
“Of course we are poor but we should not be advertising our poverty.”
Mutharika then said that he had been rich throughout his life and did not see anything wrong with leading a comfortable life.
Flying commercial suddenly
However despite his rants, Mutharika has bowed to public pressure and on his latest trip he took Commercial flights to Malta in a move that has divided public opinion.
“This is putting national security at risk,” a ruling DPP sympathiser posted on Facebook together with a photo of the President on a queue at an airport in what has been said to be Rome.
“Is this the reason why we sold the jet?” queried another person referring to the jet that was sold by former President Joyce Banda and no one knows where the proceeds went to.
“Mutharika is not the first President to fly commercial, Presidents always fly commercial,” posted writer Stanley Kenani referring to a photo that purportedly shows Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta checking in for a Commercial flight.
A fortnight ago, President Mutharika had to delegate a trip to the India-Africa summit in India on what he said were cost-cutting measures.