Vice President Saulos Chilima has said he will continue to make foreign trips but State House has said he should notify the President about his travel as required by government protocol.
Chilima has travelled last month to United Kingdom, Nigeria and Dubai in the United Arab Emirates.
Speaking at UTM party rally in Salima on Sunday, Chilima said he will travelling abroad again soon to engage international community on how they would help Malawi on his transformational agenda.
But State House said Chilima, who ditched the governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) in June and declared he would challenge President Peter Mutharika in the May 21 2019 presidential race, should seek leave from the Office of the President and Cabinet (OPC).
Presidential spokesman Mgeme Kalilani said protocol demand that the Vice-President, Cabinet ministers and their deputies, informs OPC where they intend to go, purpose f the visit, duration and who is responsible for costs.
Principal Secretary in the Office of the Vice –president, Charles Msosa, said Chilima trips were “private” and he has not spent public funds on them.
And Malawi Law Society honourary secretary Martha Kaukonde said there is no law obligating the Vice-President t inform the President when travelling abroad.
But she said both the VP and the President should inform each other as “good practice.”
Since he ditched DPP, the President has stripped Chilima of ministerial and other functions assigned to his office.
Recently, Mutharika’s exclusion of the Vice-President from the Cabinet list has stirred debate with legal scholars and Malawi Law Society (MLS) accusing the President of flouting the Constitution he swore to defend and protect.
Edge Kanyongolo, an associate professor of law at the University of Malawi’s Chancellor College, argued in the press that the Cabinet list excluding the VP is legally inconsequential because it does not have any legal significance.
He said: “A list is just a list! This does not in any way affect the Vice-President’s position because the VP is not appointed into Cabinet; he is there already by virtue of the law.”
Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) vice-chairperson Gift Trapence said it is common knowledge that the Presidency includes the President and the Vice-President.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :