First Lady Getrude Mutharia dominated the British media headlines which has criticesed her for extravagance after she reportedly enjoyed an £80,000 (about K61 200 000) pubic funds for a personal trip to London last week to see her son graduate from university.
Britain’s Daily Mail, The Express and The Sun have all carried the story criticising Gertrude Mutharika, wife of the President of Malawi, that despite UK taxpayers giving Malawi £65million a year in aid, she was “squandering” the taxpayers’ money to see her son Tadikira Mafubza – the president’s stepson – receive his master’s degree in civil engineering from the University of Greenwich in Kent on Thursday.
The press reported the First Lady has a large group of aides, including the vice president’s wife Judith Chimulirenji, and stayed at the five-star Dorchester hotel, where rooms typically cost £700 to £900 a night – and suites have a price tag of up to £5,500.
But the Britain’s Department for International Development (DFID) says the government of Malawi has not used the United Kingdom aid on Gertrude Mutharika’s private trip.
DFID has issued a very brief statement following the assertin in Biriths media that UK gives Malawi 65, 000 Sterling Pounds in aid to Malawi and the first day has blown 80, 000 Sterling Pound for her 10-day private visit .
A DFID spokesman said: “No UK aid funding is given directly to the government of Malawi, and no UK aid has been spent on this visit.
“We ensure our support through trusted partners delivers value for money for UK taxpayers and transforms the lives of the poorest people, with 215,000 children in Malawi getting a good education as a result of UK aid.”
State House said it was a government-funded trip.
Presidents (Salaries and Benefits) Act (Chapter 2:02) of the laws of Malawi, Part 1 of the schedule provides that the president’s spouse shall entitled to travel abroad privately at government expense but restricted to three times a year for a duration not exceeding 14 days each time.
However, Malawians in various social media platforms have condemned the First Lady for blowing taxpapers’ money on the trip just to attend the graduation ceremony of the son.
The Human Rights Defenders Coalition has threatened to drag the First Lady to court over allegations over spending spree to fund her private trip to the UK.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :