The Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) has threatened to drag First Lady Gertrude Mutharika to court if she fails to reimburse the money she has used for a private trip to the United Kingdom.
At a press briefing in Lilongwe today, HRDC chairperson Timothy Mtambo gave Mutharika seven days to give back the money to taxpayers.
Mutharika left Malawi on Monday through Kamuzu International Airport in Lilongwe to attend her son Tadikira Mafubza’s graduation at the University of Greenwich in the United Kingdom.
The First Lady will spend 10 days in the UK and has travelled with seven aides. The trip will cost Malawian taxpayers at least K30 million.
“Mutharika is accompanied by seven State Residences officials, including security, who have taken K315 000 ($420) each per day for the 10 days. The allowances translate to K3.1 million per individual and K22 million for the seven for 10 days,” the Nation newspaper reported on Wednesday.
Kamuzu Palace spokesperson told the paper that Mutharika has travelled in her official capacity as First Lady of Malawi.
He however defended the size of the First Lady’s entourage saying she normally travels with 12 aides.
He said: “You may wish to appreciate also that it is cost-effective to have our own professional Malawian officers accompany the First Lady to UK than hiring there.”