Government has been forced to reveal the number of people on President Peter Mutharika’s three nation tour early December as pressure continues to mount on the DPP led government to drastically cut down on expenses following the virtual collapse of public health and education sectors.
Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation George Chaponda said at a news conference Thursday in Lilongwe that there are only 15 government officials on the three nation trip.
He claimed three ministers who will accompany the President to Malta, UK and South Africa include Trade and Industry minister Joseph Mwanamveka and himself.
He also said the First Lady would accompany the President on the trip.
Chaponda, however, said businessmen who will accompany the president to South Africa have chartered a plane which they will use, saying the government will not spend any money on them.
He could not say how much the trip will cost nor if the President would use a chartered presidential jet, an issue which has caused economic and political storm in the past, saying these are matters that can well be answered by State House officials who arrange the mode of transport for the head of state.
During his trip to the UN in September, Chaponda told the nation that the President had a 20 man entourage but on his return, Mutharika admitted he had a 106 larger than life entourage, probably the largest in the history of UN general assembly meetings.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :