Leader of opposition and Malawi Congress Party (MCP) president Lazarous Chakwera has accused the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) of having wrong priorities in the wake of economic crisis and faulted the over 100-member taxpayer-funded entourage to the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).
Chakwera faulted government for taking a bloated delegation and chewing millions of tax payers money wwhen public hospital pharmacies are fast running out of drugs, 2.8 million Malawians are starving and government is struggling to fund most of its ministries, departments and agencies.<
Before President Peter Mutharika left the country for New York on Monday, he appealed for food aid for the 2.8 million people facing hunger. Malawi, said the President, needs K83.4 billion for emergency food aid.
“This is cause for grieving,” said Chakwera on DayBreak Malawi program aired in Capital FM ON Thursday.
But Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Minister George Chaponda said government is only paying for less than 20 people, about $155 000 (K93 million) on 20 people for 21 days and that the rest are sponsored by other foreign governments and international organisations.
He told a local daily newspaper: “In my ministry, we are only four people—two protocol officers, one political officer and myself—and our cost is met by the UN office. Ministry of Trade and Industry has two people while OPC [Office of the President and Cabinet] also has two people.”
Chakwera, however, told Capital Radio: “It is extremely important to be truthful to Malawians.”
He added: “Malawians cannot be taken for fool.”
Chaponda said the number of a delegation over 100 was “high and exaggerated”.
The leader of opposition said government “should never leave things to speculation” but be transparent and accountable.