President Peter Mutharika has rejected remarks by his Press Secretary Gerald Viola during an exclusive interview on Times TV on Saturday that there are plans to buy a presidential jet, saying that is not true.
Government spokesman Jappie Mhango said Mutharika and his government have no plans to purchase another Presidential Jet once the economy is back on track as claimed by Viola.
The government spokesperson said in a media statement that “neither the State President nor any Ministry or any government agencies have these alleged plans to procure any presidential jet now or in future,” adding further that “the State President’s commitment in exercising financial prudence and cutting down on unnecessary expenditure remains as ever before.”
Malawi government had a presidential jet which was sold during the short regime of the Peoples Party (PP) under Joyce Banda.
Government has also rubbished Viola claims that the President is just a figure head as most decisions concerning the affairs of the country are largely done by his top aide.
Viola’s remarks vindicate former Presidential legal advisor Z Allan Ntata who branded President Mutharika as a puppet who is controlled and manipulated by his aides (Puppet masters) and not him.
He also said his predecessors-Fredrick Ndala and Timpuza Mwansambo– were shown the exit at State House because they were not appointed by Mutharika himself but people who control him.
Viola said there were people that were making the decisions and appointments on behalf of the President and that he was equally puzzled when Mwansambo and Ndala were appointed to head State House Press Office.
On this, government says Malawians must know that “it is the State President that makes appointments through a process that involves submission of at least three proposed names to a position complete with Curriculum Vitae (CVs) by the Chief Secretary from which His Excellency makes the appointments after thorough scrutiny of the individuals.”
Viola was reportedly handpicked by Mutharika to replace Mwansambo, who was fired for drawing two salaries from State House and Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC).