Chakwera tells govt officials to stop following him around

President Lazarus Chakwera has ordered senior government officials to stop following him around, saying they are preoccupied with the president than with the country.

He made the remarks when he opened Sogecoa Golden Peacock Hotel in Blantyre on Friday morning.

Chakwera noted that there were too many senior government officials at the function coming from various parts of the country thus ballooning the cost of the function.

Vice President Saulos Chilim (L), Minister of Tourism Michael Usi (C) and Minister of Transport Sidik Mia at the function

The president ordered the Chief Secretary to the President to develop a protocol which will determine how many officials can accompany the president to public functions and on which criteria.

“We cannot just let officials burn taxes like this needlessly, that kind of wastage cannot continue. I want my government officials in strategic places where they add value to Malawi in making it an attractive place for investors.

“You were appointed to serve Malawi, not the president,” said Chakwera.

On the hotel, Chakwera said he attended the opening ceremony because tourism is a critical sector in the new Malawi his administration is building.

He added that his administration will implement reforms to make tourism grow and become competitive.

He, however, urged hotel owners to prioritise employment of Malawians saying jobs should not go to foreigners just because the company is owned by foreigners.

The new Golden Peacock Hotel in Blantyre

The Chinese funded multi-purpose hotel, has 162 rooms, a shopping mall and conference rooms among other facilities.

Mike Zhang, Managing Director for the hotel, said the facility has capacity to accommodate over 600 people.

Zhang said more job opportunities will be created for the locals and open up businesses to small enterprises within and beyond the locality of the hotel.

On his part, Wang Xiusheng, Deputy Ambassador of People’s Republic of China to Malawi, said the facility speaks volumes of the cordial bilateral relationship between the two countries.