President Lazarus Chakwera spent K300 million on his trip to Switzerland and Equatorial Guinea, government has said.
The Ministry of Finance revealed the figures yesterday when Chakwera held a press briefing at State House to address Malawians on matters of national interest.
Chakwera travelled to Davos for the World Economic Forum on May 20 and from there he went to Equatorial Guinea where he attended the African Union Summit. Chakwera returned home on Sunday, May 29.
Speaking yesterday, Minister of Finance Sosten Gwengwe confirmed that Chakwera used a private jet during the trip as he was connecting to various countries and had various engagements to attend.
“When you start looking at the connections, the president couldn’t use commercial flights as he had been doing in the past. So, you start looking at alternatives and see that this decision can be taken based on costs and engagements the president was supposed to undertake,” said Gwengwe.
However, Malawians have faulted the president for spending such an amount of money on a foreign trip at a time the country is facing forex shortages which have forced the Chakwera administration to devalue the Kwacha by 25 percent.
At a press briefing on Monday, Former Minister of Finance Goodall Gondwe who is also Democratic Progressive Party Vice President for North faulted President Chakwera’s administration for spending opulently at a time the country is running short of foreign currency.
“The essence of leadership is to enhance people’s welfare but this government has failed. The President is busy spending the meagre resources in dollars and at the same time, he preaches cost-cutting measures. That’s why we are calling for a referendum for the people to assess his popularity,” said Gondwe.
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