The governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) is countering accusations coming from opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP) on President Peter Mutharika’s bloated delegation to United Nation in New York by floating information on how Malawi’s former president-for-life, Dr Hastings Kamuzu Banda, was hiring plane for trips abroad and picking many women dancers and hangers-on.
According to the information, Kamuzu ordered Air Malawi to lease a plane from South African Airways in 1984 to 1985 7Q-YKL Boeing B-747SP-44 for various state visits to Europe.
The final registration of the aircraft was N747KV of Panair Inc – scrapped at Marana in 2005.
The DPP claims MCP members never criticised Kamuzu or their government on the policy to charter large plane and sending bloated delegation on the founding president’s foreign visits.
They cite a trip in Britain when Kamuzu took hundreds of women but there was no criticism other than praise singing on “nga, nga, nga” loyalty sloganeering.
The ruling party is fending off criticism that Mutharika had a bloated entrouge to UN and that Mutharika charted an expensive private jet.
State House press office issued a statement signed by Chikondi Juma saying Mutharika used a Jet owned by Execu-Jet of South Africa which has the registration number OE-IGS.
Hastings Kamuzu Banda ruled Malawi from independence from Britain in 1964, until his defeat at the polls in the country’s first multi-party election 30 years later.
His rule was characterised by gross violations of human rights, with several of his opponents killed.
He died in 1997, aged about 101.