Testing the waters: Muckraking on Malawi presidential jet issue

I, for one, do not think Kondwani Nankhumwa just woke up one day and started yapping, “Every country deserves a presidential jet! Malawi needs one!”

Mutharika: Jet proposal on hold

Mutharika: Jet proposal on hold

No! I do not think the Information Minister is that daft. Government was testing the waters, as it were. Somebody thought it was high time Peter bought his own toy. But government was not sure how the public would react and, therefore, Nankhumwa was sent to deliberately let slip the ‘let’s-buy-a-jet’ idea and see how the public would react.

I must declare my hand. I have had the privilege of travelling on something akin to a presidential jet. The Big Kahuna had not yet bought his controversial Dassault Falcon 900EX when it pleased him to invite me as his guest to Nice, France, the other year. So he just commandeered one of those Air Malawi planes and turned it into a presidential jet.

There are no hassles when you are travelling presidential, no visa hassles – somebody does that for you; no queuing up for immigration formalities – somebody collects your passports, you just wait in the VVIP lounge. No one even checks your luggage; therefore, you pay no taxes on anything.

Who does not need a hassle-free ride once in a while?

But, unfortunately – just like in Bingu’s time – we cannot afford a presidential jet now. Peter still has to continue enduring seven hours of waiting for connecting flights at OR Tambo. In any case, what is seven hours of waiting in the First Class suite while sipping his expensive 40-Year Single Malt Scotch and puffing away at his favourite Cubana? Several of his countrymen are waiting seven days for life-saving drugs that never come. Many die waiting.

And the timing could not be worse. Look, last time we bought a jet the British reacted by cutting £3 million in budgetary support per year for some years because we used part of their money.

Now we want to convince them to resume budgetary support and we are again talking jets? Well, some dimwit may argue that since the Brits stopped aiding our budget they have no business in meddling in our plans to buy a toy for our dear leader with our own money.

Well and good, but what can stop the British and their friends from saying if they can afford a jet on their own then they do not need our pounds?

Let us shelve this jet dream for now. After all Peter says he is not interested in hitting the skies often. Why should we maintain a jet, with its attendant daily maintenance costs, if we are only going to use it for, say, three times a year?

Let the President fly like the rest of us. After all David Cameron flies commercial and the British Prime Minister’s stature in the world has never been diminished because he flies like the next guy.

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If this is not an issue to waste time on, why have you wasted your time commenting on it? You are a DPP fool. No doubt about. DPP fool!!!!!


Thus mmmm comment loading

Greencardless Malawian
Greencardless Malawian

I thought so too


Very good advise,keep it up

Asset Declaration

JJB, please don’t start! We all knew? Do you know Malawi’s illiteracy rate? Are you dreaming in colour? Please revert to our very black and white Malawi.


Nice articles mr.tenthani,I have to conglatulate u sir! U just hit to head, wakunva anve!!!.

Alfred Munduwabo

Donors have already reacted on this Jet issue , forget about any aid from Western Countries.


That’s true. Hope he will listen to this free advice


What advice? every prudent person tests the waters before committing. Because Malawians do not test the water, that is why so many small businesses go under, Testing waters is called research.

This is not an issue to waste time writing about.

We all know Government was testing the waters, we do not need Tethani to tell us that, OR DO WE?


Yes we do need advise from tenthani, what’s wrong with you? Go to hell with ur DPP!!!

Mphongo Zidana

I think you so called jjb have a big problem. Don’t you know Tenthani is in a class of his own and we need their writings to shine light in our thinking.

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