State House has defended President Lazarus Chakwera on his travels, saying people should not expect the president to always be in his office.
Press Secretary Anthony Kasunda made the remarks yesterday during the State House Brief at Kamuzu Palace in Lilongwe.
A journalist during the brief noted that Chakwera has become a regular traveler since being elected as president, something he used to condemn when he was in opposition arguing that it leads to waste of public funds. The journalist then asked if regular travelling is now justifiable because it’s Chakwera doing it.
Kasunda, in his response, said Chakwera has spent over 80 percent of his 15 months as president working in his office.
He, however, said people should not expect Chakwera to always be in the office since the president has to go out to inspect projects and appreciate what other stakeholders are doing in developing the country.
“You can agree that he should go out to meet Malawians, to hear them so that when he is in the office he can make decisions that have been influenced by what Malawians want.
“So be assured that the president has not departed from his policy but you also do not expect the president to always be in his office,” said Kasunda.
Malawians on social media have been calling on the president to minimize his travels, saying some of the trips he makes could be delegated to the Vice President or ministers.
There are also concerns that motorists are made to wait on the road whenever the president is expected to use the same road.
On this, Kasunda said it is the president’s desire that motorists should not be inconvenienced.
According to Kasunda, President Chakwera expects security agencies to look into the waiting time since they the ones who do regular reviews of his movement.
On 23 October 2020, Chakwera also ordered security agencies to ensure that motorists should not wait for more than 15 minutes when he is travelling.
“There has to be a better way of managing my transit across the country without disrupting the movements of Malawians and tourists for hours,” said Chakwera in Blantyre.
His directive is yet to be implemented as motorists are still made to wait for a long time on the roads.