Minister of Foreign Affair and International Cooperation, George Chaponda has told parliament that the sacking of daughter of Malawi Congress Party (MCP) spokesperson Jessie Kabwila barely a month after being hired as intern in the Department of International Cooperation at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has been “blown out of proportion.”
Chaponda made the comment in Parliament when the issue rose on Tuesday after media headlines as MCP spokesperson described her daughter’s loss of internship as a political matter as a result of her demand for President Peter Mutharika to resign.
But Chaponda said Louisa Kabwila was not an employee of his ministry , therefore assertions that she has been fired are not correct.
“She was an intern and you all know that all interns are not civil servants with jobs anywhere in government,” said Chaponda, the country’s top trained lawyer.
He added: “ You all know the process of recruiting a civil servant.”
He said Kabwila internship was terminated because some civil servant who were in foreign mission had returned at the end of their tour of duty or recall and “needed the space.”
Speaking in the august House, Chaponda also confirmed of the rental arrears and debts the country is yet to pay to other foreign countries in diplomatic missions.
Chaponda was responding to a question raised by Kasungu South East (MCP) Member of Parliament, Khumbize Kandodo Chiponda who asked the minister if indeed it’s true that the nation owes other countries huge money and if the revised budget allocations for the ministry has put in place the said money to pay the concerned countries.
The Foreign Minister said the country indeed do rent office space for it staff abroad but now the amount is on lower side having managed to pay them in chunks.
The ministry of foreign affairs and international cooperation budget has been revised from K13,413,483,016 to K15,129,378,685 with an increment of over K2 billion.
People’s Party (PP) leader and MP for Salima South, Uladi Mussa questioned the minister to explain the increased the figures at a time the minister of finance is reducing budget for other important ministries like Education and Judiciary.
Chaponda said: “Personal emoluments have been revised from K7. 38 billion to K9.3 billion due to exchange rate movement. Here we are talking about salaries of diplomats in foreign missions.”
Salima central parliamentarian, Felix Jumbe demanded answers from the minister on how much the ministry is collecting from Malawi government properties in foreign countries like Ethiopia, Kenya, Zambia and Washington in USA.
Chaponda said Malawi saves a lot in those countries as they don’t have to pay any rental fee since they are using their own building and dismissed reports of Malawi wanting to sale its property in Kenya as not true.
He, however, said a Kenyan business tycoon wanted to exchange his building with extra cash but the plan was stopped.
Chaponda also clarified and defend his globetrotting, saying Malawi is affiliated to a lot of international bodies as such it is supposed to be represented at any international meeting by the foreign minister and in some cases he represents the Head of State.
He also says he accompany the President during any foreign trip .Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :