President Lazarus Chakwera has relocated to Mtunthama Residence as Kamuzu Palace is being renovated, with State House accusing previous administrations of not renovating state residences despite funds being allocated in the budget for several years.
State House Director of Communications Sean Kampondeni announced the relocation at a briefing today, saying Chakwera moved to Mtunthama on Thursday last week.
“Kamuzu Palace was due for maintenance work which is currently being done there. All these were included in the State House Residences Vote for the national budget,” said Kampondeni.
Responding to questions, Press Secretary Brian Banda said Chakwera will be at Mtunthama Residence for about four weeks.
He, however, refused to reveal the name of the contractor hired and the type of renovations taking place arguing that the issue borders on the president’s security.
“We are talking about the whole head of state and government here,” said Banda.
He also said that Vice President Saulos Chilima is yet to relocate to his official residence because his house in Lilongwe needs a lot of maintenance.
He then claimed that state residences are in bad shape despite money for the renovations being allocated in national budget.
“There was money allocated for renovations of state residences in the past, but looking at how things are right now, we do not believe that those renovations were indeed taking place,” said Banda.
Asked by a Journalist if State House knows where the money for renovations went to, Banda said State House is also asking the same question.
“Maybe the people that were running state residences in the past, they are still in this country, you might want to ask them,” said Banda, adding that the Tonse Alliance administration will follow the money.
During the press briefing, Banda also revealed that Chakwera will announce a cabinet reshuffle in the next two days. The Malawi leader who was elected in June last year named his current cabinet 31-member cabinet last year in July.