Larger than life entourage again! Malawi UN trip delegation

In reacting to President Peter Mutharika’s move to blow over K300 million on a trip to the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) with an entourage of 110 people, National Coordinator for Civil Society Agriculture network, Tamani Nkhono Mvula said: “With that amount, you can purchase 3,400 metric tons of maize, which can feed 30,000 people for at least six months and that’s a lot considering the plight the country is in in terms of food insecurity. Government needs not be indifferent to the suffering of Malawians when making its decisions.”Loose cannon

Dalitso Kubalasa, Executive Director of Economic Justice Network, wondered whether or not everyone going there will add value: “Is everyone going there going to add any value to the meeting, because like they say ‘once beaten twice shy’; experience has shown us that many a number of times that our government has sent such entourages, we don’t see any results because some of the people who are featured go there only for fun.”

These are some of the sentiments that most Malawians have expressed to display their shock at this blatant and brazen disregard of the suffering of Malawians by President Mutharika.

Just as the economy is teetering under the weight of budget aid freeze by donors and ‘systematic maladministration’ by the DPP government, it is unthinkable and outright madness to blow such a huge amount of taxpayers’ money on a trip that basically translates into a trans-Atlantic fete for pro-government chiefs and DPP bigots.

Last year, President Mutharika took a larger than life entourage to the UN and slept at Waldorf Astoria, one of the most expensive hotels in New York, blowing hefty sums of taxpayers’ money in the process. But after the furor that the careless largesse with government money created, the last thing anyone expected of President Mutharika was a repeat of the same lack of financial discipline this year.

Going to UNGA for the first time as President of Malawi, maybe Mutharika could have been pardoned last year for overspending. He just got the job and was probably over-exited. But they say making the same mistake twice is a qualification of a fool. President Mutharika should have used last year’s criticisms as a lesson to do the right things this year. One wonders whether or not this is a show of incompetence or merely executive arrogance. By now, President Mutharika ought to be beyond the excitement of a new job; he must be familiar with the systems of government operations and must have detailed knowledge on the status of the country’s finances.

Just a few days ago, the President sounded an SOS to local and international donors to bail this country out in view of the looming hunger. He said this country needs in excess of K80 billion to procure maize and other foodstuffs to deal with this hunger. Does he believe anyone will come rushing with any assistance knowing the money would be blown the next day serenading traditional chiefs?

A week does not pass without the DPP government reminding us that it is in the midst of implementing Civil Service Reforms and that this time there is political will. Political will, my foot!

Among other things the reforms are meant to help government save government a lot of tax payer’s money, which would be channelled to priority areas such as education and procurement of drugs in hospitals.

However, what would be the purpose of saving millions of Kwacha only to blown them the next minute? Does it make any sense to fire Principal Secretaries (PSs) and abolish Junior Certificate exams in the name of Civil Service Reforms and saving funds only to blow that money on a New York party with members of Mulhako wa Alhomwe?

Mutharika and his cronies better think twice on this one because it is making a mockery of his much-touted reforms. In fact, the reforms will only turn into another blank page (the number 80) if State House will remain untouched because it is the biggest culprit in as far as breaking its budget allocation is concerned.

It is sad that the voice of many Malawians appear to be landing on deaf ears. The Malawian economy is stuttering under the weight of economic despair and acute maladministration. Inflation has skyrocketed, interest rates are very high and unemployment has surged to unprecedented levels. A majority of Malawians cannot even afford two meals a day and service delivery has virtually ground to a halt.

The last thing Malawians would hope for is to see government taking the right direction (at least taking the right direction is not too much to ask for). Many well-meaning people, including the opposition and religious bodies, have tried to point President Mutharika in the right direction but it seems the President is firm on playing the lone-wolf in the wilderness.

The President should have delegated his Vice President or Foreign Minister to the UN to show solidarity with his suffering people. He did it with SADC in Botswana a few months ago.

In fact, his brother, the late President Bingu wa Mutharika did it by delegating him (Peter Mutharika) to UNGA the other year when prevailing variables were not permitting.

The President should be pre-occupied with the process of engaging various stakeholders to explore ways of getting the economy back on track. These should include opposition leaders. We saw many of such ‘consultative’ meetings during the era of the previous People’s Party government.

She may have her own flaws but former President Joyce Banda consulted civil society leaders, politicians, religious leaders and others on a wide range of issues including on managing of the economy. This is how the Economic Recovery Plan (ERP) was hatched, and it was responsible for bringing the economy back on track after the ruins of the Bingu government.

The UN General Assembly must also be explored and its contribution to change our plight as Malawians deeply analyzed. It is time we rethink about our attendance of UNGA. Otherwise we will continue to flit around in economic doldrums as other countries waltz past us.

“We and other partners raised with the Malawi Government the likely criticism about the rumoured numbers going to UNGA, particularly at a time of severe budgetary and food pressure.” – British High Commissioner Michael Nevin

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21 thoughts on “Larger than life entourage again! Malawi UN trip delegation”

  1. fela says:

    this president is just a mere figurehead.he is controlled by his aides at state house.i m not surprised that this is happening.

  2. all-i-can-say says:

    It’s time Malawians rise and stop this nonsense. We are too timid or don’t care about our country at all. Or maybe we do not imagine another type of Malawi free of hunger and deprivation. Or maybe we are too used to being poor that we don’t care anymore. There is another way of life fellow Malawians and we deserve a decent living. Politics id there to change people’s lives and it looks like most Malawians do not make a connection between poverty and bad politicians. Bad politicians = bad policies = poor standards of living. Let’s start to hold these fools to account NOW!!

  3. Mr double says:

    munaiyamba bwino bwino nkhaniyo but mmalo momaliza bwino mukuikamonso mitundu. .why man? that’s y i think journalism is just another stupid politics, you seem so innocent yet you just wanna promote your likes, ,thats stupid man, ,you are right the gvt isn’t derivering atall but look at whayyour additives so sad

  4. sapitwa says:

    Talk Talk Talk and then what next? Some say impeach the President but for what if the other people above 20 have been funded by not Malawi Government? Wina ndi uyo akuti Don’t Take Malawians for Fools yet his party members are part of this gravy train to New York and he didn’t stop them to go there to show that he is principled and can not be part of wrong decisions.
    Don’t you have other important issues to talk about? If I were the Leader of the opposition, I would present a motion in Parliament for allowing parties that win Majority in any District to rule that District thus MCP could have had a share of budget no 1 to rule those Districts they won in majority. This could have brought developmental competitions and people could enjoy a fare share of development in this country. Thus what Chakwera could have been fighting for but Iam afraid; he has no such stamina.

  5. airtel says:

    I wanna be a president so freakin’ bad

  6. Austin says:

    Peter the headstrong! Shame!

  7. koma says:

    abale!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! choncho!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! koma amalawi ndife amantha, tamvani zachitika ku trade! atsogoleriwo alibe nazo ntchito za miyoyo ya banthu

  8. 50 Cent says:

    Ine chondidabwitsa ndi choti despite the outright economic down-turn, despite common knowledge of hunger and its increasing subsquent malnutrition effects in the country, despite the government failing to employ healthcare staff, the whole president can thoughtlessly afford this massive shopping spree of his cronnies on punitive taxpayers coffers & then in his address to the UNGA ask others to help his nation deal with hunger crisis. In all fairness, who can be even interested to listen to such insincere request? How can this help be justified when huge sums of money that could do similar purpose is embezzled greedly in the name of attending UNGA meeting? What good will poor Malawians gain from this meeting? Malawi is proving to be failed stateby end of each passing day, nose diving into a substantial crash!

  9. Malawi is in the hands of scavengers. Jackals and hyenas.

  10. LINGLIRENI TASAMWA says:

    Kodi inuyo mutakhala president mukanachita zosiyana? Koma bambo Thom suja munamenya mai Chanika in daylight and nobody touched you. Can a leopad change it’s spots? Its only that you r on the wrong side now basi mtima wanu timauziwa

  11. Chilu Cw Missi says:

    Zayekha anaviika msima M’madzi. There’s no way someone so called a professor can do such stupid thing,, anthu onsewo azikataniko?? Civil servants are crying for their penny salaries, mwachotsa zinthu zambiri zofunika eg JCE exams in an axcuse of that bullshit reforms cholinga ndalama muzithera zopusazo?? Muthalika watch out muusiya mpando ukukoma uwu

  12. neymar says:

    What else do u xpect from a lomwe leader, the guy has nothin new 2 offer 2 malawians, no incentives, no new ideas.

  13. samson msukwa says:

    if some of u knows the truth then take the government to court. it should answer charges their.

  14. WOYEEEE says:

    The problem of we Malawians is, we like eating our own fingers as am talking now, i can see you as well eating your finger, we Malawians don’t see what can come next after this or that, i mean it is not long time a go we talked about this D.P.P,people and their leader how they misuse our kwachas,we were voting just last year asking them to go a head doing what they are doing now,so what now? Stop eating your own fingers, take it out from your mouth now. This is what we wanted by taking them again to the Palace, check that ink to your finger, The choice you did that day will lead you for Five years, and this is just a Cup of SOUP!…………………………ask Mr Mbendela why he cried that day, some thing entered into his eyes that’s why his Tears came out,i mean he saw something!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! sorry.

  15. Greencardless Malawian says:

    We can talk all we want but these basterds arrogance will not be satisfied until they face the same arrogance from the general public. People (rulers) like these only listen when the stiffest whip is on their backside. They are taking us for granted because they know we will talk, complain, die in hospitals but no phyisical or even psychological damage will be made on them….they will do the same or even worse next year and the year after. Its time for action Malawi because it has a tendancy to speak louder than words. We have tried the talking and it has not helped, lets take this to the next stage and let these rulers face the consequences of their arrogance!!!!!!!

  16. Robert Zingani says:

    U need to stop mention President Mutharika as Lomwe leader that’s nonsense,he is His Execellency Professor Peter Mutharika,number one citizen of this country.Thers no issue here go to hell, DPP!! Boma!! until and beyond 2019!Peter Mutharika!! Boma!!

  17. Only Democrat Left says:

    Fellow Malawians lets understand and accept that the opposition parties led by MCP can bring the misery of Malawians to an end by impeaching this idiot of a President Peter Mutharika. Does any Malawian want this useless, corrupt President to serve his full term of 5 years and then rig another election? No. Well then our plight and destiny lies not with Peter Mutharika and DPP but with the opposition parties led by MCP. Impeach this useless corrupt President.

  18. matako a pusi says:

    I mean the total funding for trade ministry was 39 million kwacha and three people omee apita ku usa aononga 27 million

  19. matako a pusi says:

    Abale inu ku ministry of trade and industry anthu atatu atenga k27 million for air tickets and allowances leaving k12million to run the ministry the whole month the total funding was k12million this is unfair their offices have mo tissue no paper no fuel etc thos is unfar thoughtless senseless and greatest display of stupidity and carelessness

  20. Navumbo galado says:

    If this is true call the parliament and impeachment process to start today not tomorrow for the useless president

  21. Patriot says:

    Correct your figures
    Anapita kumeneko before pitalayu ndi anthu 115.
    Amene anyamuka ulendo pamodzi ndi pitalayu dzana lija ndi anthu 20
    Addition 115 + 20 = 135.
    Apita ku UN ndi anthu 135 osati 115.
    And the money blown up by this useless lomwe leader is over half a billion kwacha.

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