Furious Mutharika explains on jet hire, Malawi UN delegation: ‘I can’t resign, this nonsense has to stop’

Malawi President Peter Mutharika on Wednesday held a news conference in Lilongwe on his United Nations trip and explained on the bloated delegation, disclosing it was 106 in total but that most people including some ministers were funded by other organisations not the tax payer’s money.

President Mutharika: This nonsense must stop

President Mutharika: This nonsense must stop

Before addressing reporters, Mutharika commented on his religious advisor Apostle Timothy Khoviwa’s earlier prayer.

“I really need grace to answer some of the lies and irresponsible statements that have been made by some politicians and some irresponsible media houses,” said Mutharika.

Mutharika explained that Malawi delegation to the United Nations General Assembly in New York, was 106 but that most of the people who came on Malawi accreditation were funded by other organisations, citing Mzuzu University and Luanar Vice Chancellors who were at UN on Malawi team but had their own funding.

The Malawi leader said among other members of the Malawi delegation who were not funded by the government included civil society activist Emma Kaliya and Lucky Mbewe.

He also said the Malawi ministry of foreign affairs delegation was funded by UN and that only Minister of Foreign Affairs , George Chaponda was funded from Capital Hill.

According to Mutharika, ministry of health officials were funded by UNICEF and that Minister of Gender, Patricia Kaliati did also not travel on funding from government purse.

“This government did not pay, you are so obsessed about money that am wasting your money. This nonsense has got to stop,” said Mutharika in the news conference covered live on Malawi Broadcasting Corporation and monitored by Nyasa Times through online streaming.

Mutharika stressed that “Malawi delegation was the smallest” at the UN as compared to other nations.

Sounding furious, Mutharika asked his critics on the New York trip to: “Get over it now.”

He denied that his delegation and hangers-on flaunted their penchant for merry-making and shopping for expensive designer suits in New York, saying such assertions were “ completely garbage.”

Mutharika said he had to take a number of people, mostly technocrats as his backroom staff preparing his work on a number of activities he had to work on.

“I can’t be by myself, I am not a machine. I was all the times working and these people did a tremendous job,” said Mutharika.

“I read somewhere that I did fairly well, in fact everything we did was excellent,” stated Mutharika.

President Mutharika also took time to fend off criticism that he is leading an opulent life by chartering private jets for his external trips, refuting reports that he hired an expensive executive jet to New York. The President explained that he only had hired a jet from South Africa for five hours travel between Lilongwe and Dubai in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) where he took a commercial flight to New York.

The Head of State accused the media, particularly singling out Zodiak Radio for “irresponsible” reporting with false facts.

“It’s false, a lie and they owe me an apology. I hope they are decent enough to apologise to me. They have hurt me,” said Mutharika.

On the hired plane, Mutharika said: “It’s a small jet which has a capacity of 12 passengers. Why is that people cannot check facts.

“They are inciting people against me and the DPP that is politics.”

He noted that “no single African leader went to New York on commercial jet.”

Mutharika defended the use of hired planes, saying he is inconvenienced when he goes hitch-hatching on planes.

“One time I was at an airport for 10 hours. Do you want your president to sit at an airport for 10 hours ,” wondered Mutharika.

He said Malawi despite being poor, “should not advertise our poverty” to the world.

Asked on calls by some quarters for the President to resign, Mutharika said he will not quit.

“I am not going to step down. I have no intention to go into a debate. I have explained,” said Mutharika.

The President said he is not sitting down, disclosing that his next stop will be India and then London.

“Next week I am going to India, then in London in December for an African investment forum,” said Mutharika.

He said the foreign travels are for the benefit of Malawi and that he is actually persuaded by Minister of Foreign Affairs to attend the foreign events, saying he is not travelling to claim allowances.

“I don’t need to your money. When I came here in 2007 I was already a millionaire. I can do without your money,” he said.

“I want this radio station to tell me how I should go to India,” said Mutharika.

“Let’s stop this small vicious kind of politics of criticising without any basis,” he added.

Mutharika said the main opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP) were wrong to criticise him on jet issue, saying when they were in power they used to take chartered jet to England for one month with hundreds of cheer leaders.

He then turned the screw on previous Peoples Party government saying the country had a presidential jet which was procured for purposes of wanting to make sure that the President uses it but it was sold in bizarre circumstances hence the sticky situation in presidential travel.

“Ask the PP government what happened to money for jet which was bought at $22 million,” he said.

Mutharika sounded more angrily when Zodiak award winning journalist Tereza Ndanga negotiated her slot to the microphone and asked the President to lead by example in slashing his spending like travel and hiring planes.

“You came with your fixed mind, I have explained this, that way, you were not listening to me,”Mutharika said.

All in all, President Mutharika said his visit to New York was “fruitful” and that no other country had more activities than Malawi.

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Brave man
Guest

Totally in agreement with #160

shallow minds
Guest

Zodiak wants to kill another set of 20 thugs like it did on 20th July 2011. Trust me. And ZBS thinks that’s the way to go. Telling Malawians lies. Good luck.

Tobias Dominiko
Guest

Akuluakulu Palibe President Amene Angakomere Aliense Vuto Ndi Tecnology Munthaw Ya Bakili Kunalibe Ma Trip? Pano Zinthu Zikusintha(tecnology)kale Ndan Amanyoza President Pano Bwa Freedom Of Expresion Ngakhale Mnyumba Abambo Sikut Amakhonza Zonse Ai Or Atangot Lero Mukhale Ndinu President Mungakwanitse Kod Ubwino Wa President Mukufuna Mudziona Paekhapaekha?Kamuzu Bakili Bingu Joice Ndi Uti Mudayamikilako Amalawi Muganize Muli Inu Mungaendetse Dziko?

Winford
Guest

Jet Problem Is Jb’s Problem Not Apm. Give Him The Jet

Kenkkk
Guest
Yes apm, we should advertise our poverty, no shame about it because that is what we are and that is the only way the world can help us to help ourselves eventually. You and your heartless dpp cohorts are busy stealing our money, so how can you alleviate our poverty. More shameful and embarrassing is you apm telling the whole world that you are going to put the whole nation on hiv/AIDS treatment. This is advertising lies that the whole nation is afflicted by AIDS. Just becsuse you want money to flow in and then steal it at the expense… Read more »
Mnthutha
Guest
no matter how obvious things might seem to be, there will always be Opposing opinions. It is a leader’s responsibility to reconcile such differences and select an optimal solution. Some mistakes are sO obvious but you still find some quarters defending them tooth and nail. Such is as a result of putting party matters above a nation’s wellbeing. If we can come and reason together as Malawians we can overcome every difficulties but if we, let our political belongingness control our emotions then we will remain divided and productivity will be far from reach. If a leader keeps disregarding critisms… Read more »
GRM
Guest

My worry is where my mother from Sonjeka village, T/A Mabuka Mulanje will buy Ciproflaxin for her typhoid. She was told today to buy it from any pharmacy and there is none at Mpala or Mathambi trading centre. THE CRISIS IS BITING HARD ON RURAL POOR AND APM IS MOCKING US. GIVE ME APM AND I WILL SLAP SENSE IN HIS SENSELESS AND ARROGANT HEAD

lemon ndalama
Guest

No difference at all. The same old chap. Kamuzu did it without criticism as his was a dictatorship era. Bakili, Joyce Banda and Bingu all did it and left us poorer than they found us. I thought a law professor would do it differently. Poor Nalawi

KWANJANA BERTHA
Guest

FURIOUS PRESIDENT + FURIOUS MALAWIANS = MORE FIRES

FURIOUS MALAWIANS + FURIOUS PRESIDENT = MORE AND MORE FIRES

MALAWI IS BURNING !! REALLY !!

Chimphula
Guest

Mr. President just tell me one good thing that has happened to poor Malawians by you going to UN. If you’re so rich why not donate some dollars to the national fiscus instead of drawing huge per diems in dollars for attending UNGA even every bill is paid for by the state. Umatenga ma allowances as if you will take care of yourself. A rich president wouldn’t do that. There are even rumours that the president was more in allowances than the number of day he stayed in America. Shame complete shame

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