Malawi President needs a jet

The President of Malawi–any president of Malawi, irrespective of party affiliation—needs to fly on his or her own jet. Seriously, people, should this even be a matter for debate? Listen, if Madonna, a mere entertainer, can fly on a private jet into Malawi, the President of Malawi, our country’s First Citizen, should be able to fly into London on a private jet.

President Mutharika jets back to Malawi on commercial flight

President Mutharika jets back to Malawi on commercial flight

Now. I know that times are hard. Maybe, we can no longer afford that Dstv package we used to get, maybe we have cut down on groceries, I know. (Oh, that horrible US dollar!) I feel our collective pain. Of course, there is also the politics—that issue about a so-called controversial election—tends to cloud our reason. Look, it is not surprising to me that people need something or someone to blame. This is, after all, politics in tough economic times.

But in a nod to the Biblical prophet Isaiah. “Come now, let us reason together” (Isaiah 1:18 NIV). Let us set aside our economic and political grievances and think, for just a second. Exactly, how is it that the President of Malawi—any president of Malawi, irrespective of party affiliation—is supposed to travel? A ship perhaps or maybe a train for regional travel? Look, if I sound like I am repeating myself, well it is because I am. And you know why I am repeating myself, it’s because I cannot understand why we have taken an issue that should be a matter of national interest and politicised it, or is that personalised it. People seem to be more emotional than rational.

This issue of the jet should not be about who is in government, or even the tough economic times. It should be about how we as a country seek to project ourselves. It should be about our national pride and prestige. We need to take care of our presidents and how they travel because they represent us on the global stage. Do we really want our President to be crammed with the hoi polloi on a commercial flight and wait from two to a dozen hours to connect?

And, no, first class will not cut it! The last time I checked the wait time for a connecting flight is no respecter of first—class passengers. Commercial is commercial, and is not befitting of a president. For my money, the initial mistake was not that we bought a jet, but that we sold the jet after we bought it. Ostensibly, it was to save money. Remind me again what happened to the money we got from the sold jet. Right, exactly! And after we sold that jet, well, the former President travelled on chartered planes. So what was the point? It was just another example of feel-good policies that take us nowhere.

We need to agree, collectively, that the current president and all other presidents that are to come will have to travel abroad from time to time. That is without question. Now, do we really want to be the only country whose president has to be stuck at some airport for hours, waiting for his or her connection? Let us remember that the person who holds the office of president of Malawi is not only the head of government, but also the head of state.

The person who holds that high office is more than the chief executive of the country. He or she is a figure head-a symbol, an emblem even. It is not about the person, it is about the office. The president of Malawi is not the prime minister of some island nation with a population of less than 100 000 people, all of whom happen to be related. We are more than that. We are a proper country with proper borders. We have a rich history of political significance in our neck of the woods.

Come on, people, our first president Ngwazi Dr. H. Kamuzu Banda, once consolidated in power, never flew commercial. He would charter an Air Malawi plane for travel within the region and planes from elsewhere when he travelled overseas. His successors need a jet.

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Proffessor Weniweni
Guest

Iwe ndichitsiru kwambiri
ngati suli kumalawi kono sukuyenela kulemba nkhani zakumalawi wava?

Kuchipatala kulibe zakudya
Njala yafika pachimake
Anthu kusowa pogona

Ndiye iwe kulemba zanzii ngati zimenezi
ukufuna ulandile mphontho yodziwa kulemba nkhani kapena?

koma ndiwe opusaka kwambiri, usamala ndizolemba zopusa ngati zimenezo tikusamutsa kuno

Kalima
Guest
My thinking tells me that what we want is not the jet…or whatever , what we need are laws (that can be adhered to) governing the usage and disposal of Government’s assets…..you may agree with me that leaders who came after Kamuzu have been doing as they wished regarding state property….quoting the current leader…he openly said the government is broke and that it wont raise salaries of its civil servants. …from that it can be ironical to cater for the first citizen at a time when thousands are facing a myriad problems. …after all he too can join the private… Read more »
Robin Hood
Guest

My dearest Merendehle,
There’s a thin line between riders and punks. If you are a man of principle then stick to them BUT never try to impose them on others. For all I know your family is rich and I’m certain your relatives are not dying of hunger. Change is inevitable; don’t be short-sighted; tables turn.

Nasan
Guest

Amwene ku malawi kuno athu alindinjala muzikamba zazelu athu aza kukhazulani ndikwiyo muziona athu oyikila kumbuyo

Murendehle Juwayeyi
Guest
Thank you all very much for your comments on my article. I really appreciate them, especially those that do not agree with my point of view because they make me work that much harder to justify my own reasoning. To those that have resorted to name calling, I appreciate your comments as well. At least you read the article. Based on the tenor of the comments above, I get the feeling that some readers totally missed the point of the article. Consequently, I have written another one that will possibly clarify the point of the article. With any luck it… Read more »
myao
Guest

Ankolo, muvutikatu muntima inu, let this clueless dude sort the problems at hand then we we can look at how best to reward him, may be just an ordinary plane just to ensure privacy and not necessary a Jet being competed for by world celebrities,totally agree with one saying we need a President and NOT a Presidential plane.At FAM we need an innovative football genius at the helm and not somebody trying to match his height with his period of messing thieving there.

evil person
Guest
choyamba ndifunse kaye,kodi walemba iziyu nde utinso uyu,dzina lake lachilendo maganizidwe ake achilendo,is he a Malawian? anyway let’s come to this issue. Firstly I could’ve liked to know the following about this author- 1-how far did he with his education because his writings are very shallow 2-where is he staying,in Malawi or abroad because he seems like he doesn’t feel how painful Malawian life is currently 3- how old is he because he seems like he is very immature, naive with very little life experience. Now,how can you compare Kamuzu’s era with our country today,you know for sure that the… Read more »
simiao chinguereze
Guest

why cant you write about the long awaited cancer centre? Why cant you write about the long awaited Malawi Legal Institute which is failing to open because of 40million MK, why cant you write about the collapsing healthcare system?

Mulhomwe Wankulu
Guest

Juwayeyi takudziwa kale ukufuna akusankhe Presidential Press officer ukufuna ulowe m’malo mwa Gerald Viola, koma wagwa nayo man. Ndipo wangotaya nthawi yako kulemba nkhani imeneyi.

timothy
Guest

zosavuta bwana agule ndenge ndi ndalama zawo alinazo ndithu ndipo ankhoza kugula azikwera ndipo boma lizipereka pang’opang’ono kwa zaka 10 ndipo or,abank antha kukhala ndindenge boma litha kumalipira kwa zaka 10 ndi chiwongola zanja chotsika zochititsa manyazi ziko ndenge za dziko tilibe ya president tilibe zowona
tinali ndi bwana masauli analndi ndenge bushiri alindindenge or osamupempha bishiri imozi bwanji ankhoza kperekanso mosavuta has got money

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