Mutharika in humiliating u-turn on jet: ‘Malawi President to continue hitch-hiking’

Malawi President Peter Mutharika has agreed to an embarrassing U-turn on the proposal for government to purchase a presidential jet in order for the Head of State to avoid airport queues or the “inconvenience” of waiting for flights.

Mutharika: Jet proposal on hold

Mutharika: Jet proposal on hold

Minister of Information Kondwani Nankhumwa said government has decided to reverse a decision on the proposal to consider new plane for the President afterMutharika was subjected to criticism in the UK media after a report by Nyasa Times quoting Nankhumwa that the country, like any other nation, needs a presidential jet for convenient travelling of State President.

But after British newspaper, The Express picked the story calling for halt of all British support to Malawi over the matter, government has decided to put the proposal on hold.

Locally, vocal human rights activist Timothy Mtambo of Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation (CHRR), wondererd: “Where will the money come from if we are struggling to manage the zero-aid budget? I did not expect this from this government this early. Here is the President who says he is not excited with travels, and where is this coming from?”

Nankhumwa, who is government spokesman, insists his remarks were proposals that Malawi should consider buying a presidential jet to be used by leaders or continue chartering planes as President Muthatika did during his recent trip to the United States.

“In all fairness every country needs a presidential jet for convenient travelling; and as government we still think it was a mistake to sell the jet that was bought,” said Nankhumwa.

Critics questioned the cost effectiveness of chartering aircrafts for the president when he is on foreign trips.

He said much as some people advocate for the president to be using public flights, there are several setbacks with that arrangement including loss of time.

“The President experiences a lot of inconveniences like time losses in flight connections, and hence affecting his programmes whenever he is on public flights,” Nankhumwa said.

Immediate past president Joyce Banda sold the country’s 14-seat Dassault Falcon 900EX  presidential jet, as part of cost-cutting measures.

Her predecessor, the late Bingu wa Mutharika, was strongly criticised for buying the jet seven years ago at a cost of about $13.3m (£8.5m).

Donors cut aid to Malawi by $4.4 million after the purchase.

Malawi is one of the poorest countries in Africa.

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74 thoughts on “Mutharika in humiliating u-turn on jet: ‘Malawi President to continue hitch-hiking’”

  1. Bobo says:

    If JOHN TRAWOLTA HAS 7 jets why can’t our president have one???

    1. Kenkkk says:

      Bobo, you can’t compare the two. John used his own money to purchase his jets, Peter doesn’t. Peter depends on govt or we tax payers’ money to buy the jet. If he used his own money, I don’t think we would be talking here!!!

      But I agree Peter should have one when the time is right, not now.

  2. George M says:

    A presidential must be bought. Joyce Banda sold the plane for the sake of getting high marks from the local populace

  3. kholowa mkabudula says:

    kkkkkkkkk! Anthu osamva nde amalawi,dyela ndikudzikonda komwe. Why is it that we don’t want to build a proper Malawi for our kids? You voted for him but your still suffering than ever b4,that money for the Jet now will go missing. lm sure they have the money now but becaz of such critism they will just steal the money whilst poor pipo (voters) are dying due to luck of med’s in our hospitals.kkkkkkk pano you have seen him okondedwa uja,tiyeni kulila sikunati this is just an introduction!….Never the less he needs a distinction on resurrecting myp,thats a good idea if impremented. Amene atadzibabe ndiye titha kumaotcha tsano!

  4. Masaninga says:

    Ndege jo asume basi tuliwalile

  5. Kenneth duwa says:

    We choosen u inorder 2 ruled us so far dot take us an animals

  6. nantakanya says:

    koma anagulitsa ndegeyo ndiye wa mutu wa nantongwe,, Ngege kusinthanitsa ndi thumba la chimanga zooona?

  7. mlomwe2 says:

    Ndimayesa president wathu ndiwolemera angogula ndege yoyendera ndindalama zake. CHIMOZIMOZI MUNTHU AMATHA KUGULA GALIMOTO NDINDALAMA ZAKE KUTI ASAMAVUTIKE MAYENDEDWE.

  8. Chidude says:

    Mwaiwala kale mumachita kukwela minibus kukagula bonya mu nsika wa Lilongwe kutti anthu akutameni, Where has that humbleness gone? Mxiieeww

  9. Nkhombokombo says:

    May His Thoughts and Ambition Rest in Eternal Peace. No sane President can ever think of enriching himself on the expense of the suffering. Why worry about the Airport delays when in reality there is nothing happening on the ground to rush for. These guys are there fulltime wasting taxmoney in any funny way they wish, like in Cashgate cases, the Flygates, Hotelgates, Reformgate and the list goes on and on!

  10. OGA MUST HEAR THIS says:

    SHAME ON YOU.

  11. jamé says:

    Heeee monning like thí nôo noo noo we need that money to build malawi no good road u thinking about jet amalawi tisiye nzelu zachibwana izi how many people need to go to south africa how many are there becâuse of u stupit presdent think about ur people ur like father u can’t go shop and buy a car while u dont have money for fuel

  12. James says:

    To buy jet for now it need to think twice because many malawian people live in poverty and the money for jet is better help those who struggling.

  13. nohva says:

    Staged kuti tiziti listening govt

  14. Jaston Musama says:

    Malawian,When shall respect our Leaders. Some of you even want the President to travel on local flights,that is senseless

  15. sandra makoni says:

    hey 1/30th of nations annual budget shouldnt go towards one persons foreign travel, what about adding the cost of his salary, state houses, fleet of cars, security…

    How much money could we seriously save if we run 5 years just with a president on vice presidents powers and benefits

  16. nishan says:

    Falcon 900LX not very different from what Bingu bought cost $39 mil, just to buy it the $0.5 Million a year to run, if it doesnt breakdown or need service plus $150000 cre wages. I MEAN THE AIRCRAFT COST 1/30 OF OUR ANNUAL BUDGET OF $1.2 Bn , let the man was in airports if that would save us £39 mil USD. the president does not bring money to the nation, he just spends the nations money, the reports which the foreign embassies aid departments write back to their countries on good governance , both economic and democracy and present the report to against theur foreign aid allocation, so when any fat african pig goes abroad to shopping with their party friends in private jet , it gives a big minus to how much aid the country gets given

  17. shanha says:

    The following country are over 1000 times richer than malawi, generally malawi infrastructure and social services are 100 year behind, i.e Ilala isnt as big or faster tiitanic, trains arent as faster than trains in the west 100 yrs ago, Im talking about countries who went to the moon 75 years ago.
    These countries have no jet for their Heads of state HongKong, Israel, Norway, Singapore, israel, Uk, yes even the queen does have a jet( UK Budget 1.2 Trillion US Dollar, malawi 1.4 Bn US dollar)
    They all fly scheduled commercial airlines, a Jet cost $3400 everytime it is in the air and also £3400 loss of revenue every time it is on the ground, yeah almost $80 000 per day. Thats why JayZ and Beyonce have £800mil but still fly commercial, just one engine replacement cost $3mil so nowonder somebody with $800mil doesnt cant comfortably even afford it. There are insurance, ground, navigation, fees but most strangest is the $60000 a year which jet owners have to pay todo update trainning their pilots on top of the $150000 salaries and over half a million dollar runinng cost a year.

  18. zanimuone says:

    tilije ndalama zakugula jet. tigule ngoma kuti tileke kufwa na njala. Kasi jet tingalya?

  19. Thitherward Wendo says:

    Given the crisis in food security that is looming over us, how can our leaders even find time to think about this non-essential issue? They put just about everything important into the ‘Too Hard’ basket and waste their time manoeuvring for perks and status-symbols! Please, God – help these dogs to lap up a little compassion with their gravy.

  20. ndiye kuti tili ndindalama eti?

  21. Greencardless Malawian says:

    SOMEHIW I KNEW IT WOULD COME DIWN TO THIS THEN WE WOULD BE MADE TO BELIEVE THE SO CALLED MALAWI PEESIDEJT IS THOUGHTFUL AND HAS MADE A RESPONSIBLE DECISION! Ayayaya! NANKHUMWA TSOPANOOO!

  22. Big man says:

    If the main reason for buying the jet to ensure someones comfort, then its a stupid proposal but if the reason is to save/cut some costs incurred when charterinig the plane then we may consider it in future and not now

  23. Nyono says:

    Who is advising the President please? They ur not doing a good job making descision then rervese them ur emberassing the President. Why can’t U consult thoughly first.

  24. Maggie Lucius says:

    Kabaza basi.

  25. umodzi parck says:

    Please Mr. PRESIDENT FIRE THE FOLLOWING MINISTERS:
    1. Kondwani Nankumwa
    2. Grace Obama Chiumia
    3. Henry Musa
    4. Joseph Mwanavekha

    They will not help you let alone help this poor nation.

  26. Cashgate1 says:

    Why should the British till now decide what we ought to have? I think these British are now stepping way out of their boundaries. It is a fact we are living in modern world and the President needs modern and convenient means of travelling than loosing much of time. However timing here is an issue. But we need guys. You mean this country is so poor than these actors who own their jets? or something is very wrong with us? Where did we get the money we paid loan for Mulli and others?

  27. Atcheya says:

    Guys, I may not be a supporter of the president, and I may not agree with the issue of buying a plane. However, I think we its high time we thought of something positive of this nation. There are somethings which as a president, he needs them. Collorary, our opposition leaders, also deserve some special recognance as regards to the contribution which they make in our country. I for one, I blame Joyce Banda, our only female president we have had, by selling the jet which Bingu had bought. It could have remained as a national asset. Remember, what had happened with Bingu when he went to Mozambique around July, 2009. Somehow, in terms of reporting, lets try to build a good image too on some of the issues surrounding our country.

  28. Charles Banda says:

    The idea is good but not now when the nation is struggling to make ends meet.

  29. Maria says:

    To hell with your stupid proposal..jet..jet..jet.Didnt you hear Zuma’s advice???`Take care of your people’.Shameless govt .. even with all these problems you can still think of the presidential jet..

  30. Fraction says:

    I agree with Nyonyo’s comment. We are not poor. Our minds are desperately poor. China, West etc all scrumbling for Africa, Malawi included! You think these people are stupid? We are stupid. Our minds are indoctrinated, and both intellectually and economically colonized. Whole generations are now victims. The last voices of pan-Africanists are going into oblivion. Shame! What a a hopeless race in a world full of potential and even hope! And this writer appears to take pleasure in a president who hitch-hikes. What’s the relevance of that statement in the title of the article. I equally feel the jet purchase cannot be a priority now. However, what is continually depressing is the attitude of this author and many others.

  31. NYASI says:

    mwafulumila

  32. chikupizga says:

    President jet? That is useless

  33. mwene says:

    This DPP govt. has deep rooted Traits. The same late Bingu traits are reappearing slowly, big headed syndrome.

  34. The gambler says:

    BIGUP bwana President…. takunyadirani kwambirr….

  35. nyasa boy says:

    Sometimes its good a country without a president coz there is nothing what you do

  36. CHEKUCHEKU says:

    Thats What We Call A Listening Government. 2019 Mulowanso Alomwe Inu.

  37. Agulise ndata kuti agule the said jet.

  38. Kaphulika says:

    Ndege imeneyo ndi yodula bwanji ndingokugulitsani yanga yotchipa ndinayoogula kwa sing’anga nanga si anzathu mukufuna kumayenda mwachangu wosakhala pa lyn

  39. vyaya says:

    Wasting time waiting on airports? You mean Mutharika? Even atachedwa by 1 week who cares really? Does he have anything to offer wherever he goes?

    Please give us a break from this thingcalled peter.

  40. olemba wanzeru iwe olimbana ndi ma notherners pa -nyi- ni – pa /mako

  41. chatonda says:

    Beggars have no choiced. If the donors say buy, we will buy but if they say we will withdraw our aids, we will not buy. Dead Aid by Dambisa Moyo. Aid cannot develop any country but trade.

  42. chinyotho says:

    Paja munkati Joyce Banda amati Azungu akuti, lero bwanji? Nanunso mwayamba kumvera azungu? Hhahahahahahaha

  43. kika says:

    It sounds very absurd for a big mans plan to be shot down. It means you are not a democratic leader. You did not seek views of other people. You are a disgrace in this country. Where are your stupid Yes bwana so called advisers

  44. chewa king says:

    ndege ndiyofunika, not only for security and convenience, but for respect as well. tinali nayo ndege koma ena anagulitsa.

  45. Davie Mwenda says:

    Stupid ideas am not there anyway and iwill never be in astupid country that

  46. Maximum Prison says:

    Charter planes abwana! No problem we will pay! Zomuwawa zake izo! Charter charter!!!!!!!!!!

  47. Elias Nali says:

    I’d like to concur with Kenkkk above. The prezident & his cabinet ministers need to consult with parliament on such big issues . For instance , the sales of MSB Bank & FDH. It’s very pathetic.

  48. Mapyiya says:

    Mr Nakhumwa mwina simumadziwa,Queen popita ku commonwth meetng amakwera British Airways,late Nelson Mandela amakwela SAA,osati ku business class ,people asked him,he said I cant stay away frm my people who put me in the offece

  49. Charombanthu says:

    Mwaganizatu bwino pamenepa. A presidential jet is not our priority now when we have an impending hunger spell, poor road infrastruture, poor education infrastructure/system, lack of or no medical drugs in our hospitals, blackouts, no water, etc. Let us fix these important issues first before thinking about the JET. Economies that are much better than ours in the region do not have a presidential jet….Remind me, what happened to the proceeds realised from the sale of the other Jet by the PP government? Tiunikeponso bwino pamenepa because a lot of contracdicting stories were told between the former president (JB) and her ministers…..

  50. Award Winner says:

    What’s embarrassing about it?

  51. Z Z Junior says:

    In all fairness, Every country requires a presidential Mansion, presidential vehicle and even a presidential jet. The presidency is an institution that requires proper security and that is heavily compromised when using public transport. If the president is to use public transport for foreign trips then let it be applied even locally. Imagine our president on a Kabaza or mdulamoyo going for an official govn engagement. By the way can someone tell me whatever happened to the money realized from the sold jet.

  52. Malindima says:

    Charter the planes bwana. It is the same to owning one.

  53. Kenkkk says:

    I would advise this dpp govt that whenever a big expenditure is contemplated, you should always state that you will be consulting parliament first for consideration. You shouldn’t announce unilaterally such expensive endeavors where tax payers money is involved as if a decision has already been made and approved by parliament.

    These things cannot be decided by just Ben and Peter, then rubber stamped by the sleeping vp and cabinet!!!

  54. wanzeru says:

    Kodi ku Malawi kuli president woti mpaka kumadwala naye mutu kuti agulilidwe ndege???? Utiyo kodi???? Munena zinakadziyika ku state house zitheka chisankhozi thru ka chilima ndi kaphale haaaaa mungodzivuta ndalama zake ziti??? Asiyeni awaa palibe icho amadziwa zoyendetsa dziko ndiye sangamakwere ndege yolipila ife amene tidawakana

  55. Shame ayi ndikofunika boma lichitepo kanthu chifukwa ndi zamanyazi

  56. Piche Yakiti says:

    Which time loses? Simple management principles talk about planning. This means you calculate the waiting hours in airports and schedule to leave malawi at an appropriate time so that the president arrives at the appropriate time.

    Kodi zonjoyazi zili mmagazi eti !

    Its your time

  57. Charter says:

    The way things are in Malawi, it is a mockery of the poor to procure another jet! Mutharika simply wants a jet to equal his brother and Kamuzu – the only opportunity for him to own a “private” jet! Greed. Shame!!!

  58. Nyonyo says:

    Iwe reporter why do you subscribe to western view of us..remove your last sentence because it is not adding anything to the story. We are grateful for what we are whether poor or rich. Do not use western inculcated ideology on how we shld be viewed. Yes we are poor so fucken what? We have something that the west do not have so in this context they are also poor. Stupid reporter get a life

  59. Tiko says:

    Do we really know where we want to be and let alone how to be there?
    Ooooh, by the way how is it that Mzuzu Karonga minbuses carry 4 passengers per seat and 3 others pashamba and even 2 more per door plus driver. And move all the way to Karonga passing through so many roadblocks, MRA inclusive. I travelled from Karonga depo to Chitimba in a vanetta with 4 passengers in front seat, just imagine. I know LL salima, or Lilongwe Kasungu, Lilongwe south minibuses where that never happens. To my surprise , the educated and civilised northeners never complain. I know its irrelevant coment but pliz do sth, in the north minibuses.

  60. benga says:

    very sorry shortly sold shortly demanding .

  61. honourable says:

    The only way for a president not to hv waiting too much at the airports is by avoiding travelling too much. Like this last trip to America was nothing but going to deposit money in the bank, rubbish

  62. ri says:

    the whole country without a presidential jet! SHAME on Malawi! President akamayenda basi adzilimbana ndi anthu pa queue!

  63. The media’s the most powerful entity on earth
    They have power to make innocent guilty and to make the guilty innocent,and that’s
    power,because they control the minds of masses
    _Malcolm X_

  64. concerned says:

    The warm heart of africa that is not so warm.

  65. Tifanamaso says:

    Mmmmmm jet?how much is it cost & where wil you get the money?a pitala musamamale ndikudziwa kuti maganizo ogula ndege si anu koma a short Ben phiri,chenjera nayeni.

  66. Tengupenya says:

    What is the use of these “testing of the waters and backing off” tales? They make fun of big people in big places. Whoever spins them is indecent, disrespectful of some high places and insults the intelligence of rest of us.

  67. MSANA WA PETURO says:

    Now I conclude JB is really more intelligent than this THING.

  68. tchadiwiki says:

    Media can be crap. Bingu buts a jet, they instigate public to condemn the purchase. Joyce sells the jet, it was a media issue again as to why sell it. APM charters a plane, they attack him for that and say a presidential jet is a necessity. Govt considers putting a jet on plans, bad move! Exactly what do you want?? Is there anything leaders will do that you wont instigate an attack???

  69. mbani says:

    Makutu mnadula

  70. Inconviniences are not important on this issue. But the question is where will the money come from. You can do it & lose external donars

  71. angoni says:

    Ayambapo. Tinayesa kale izi. Zinathera pati? Buy jets for air malawi kaya mukuti ndi chani limited pano. Mbatama

  72. Jonsom Phiri says:

    we can afford to buy another jet by simply issuing a promissory note.

  73. martha says:

    Why did u have to finish with that poor bla bla bla statement? Thats not news! Every one knows it and we are working very hard to change that, God even harder.

    Stop insulting us.

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