Malawi President Banda defiant on travel restrictions: ‘I will not stop travelling to visit my people’

Malawi President Joyce Banda who had been placed under local and international travel restrictions, following the withdrawal of budgetary support by donors, has defiantly said she will keep on criss-crossing the country visiting people.

President Banda said this Saturday during a  political meeting in Area 25 in Lilongwe  of the governing ruling People’s Party which are branded “developmental rally.”

Her comments comes a day after her arrival from Kuwait. Before she left the country, Finance Minister Maxwell Mkwezalamba said government officials, including the Head of State would only be allowed to travel and to attend critical government engagements, with exception to fully funded trips

But in her speech aired live on national broadcaster MBC, President Banda said through travelling in all parts of the country, she can appreciate people’s plight and get to know their needs.

President Banda: I will not travelling to visit my people

President Banda: I will not travelling to visit my people

She explained under the travel restrictions there is an aspect of “except critical stuff”.

“For me, this trip falls under critical stuff,” said President Banda.

“I cannot defy my own minister by ignoring the ban but I must say here that I will not stop travelling to visit my people, even if it means walking or cycling.”

President Banda said she did understand the need for austerity measures but described her never-ending local trips as “necessary.”

Banda’s critics have in the past slammed her travel “escapades” saying they did nothing to boost the development of the country.

During the political meeting which ruling PP officials took turns to campaign for next year’s elections, the party also introduced their new members  who incuded former Malawi Congress Party (MCP) Secretary General Chris Daza and Bester Majoni.

Welcoming PP defectors

Welcoming PP defectors

PP supporters at the Area 25 'development' rally by President Banda

PP supporters at the Area 25 ‘development’ rally by President Banda

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