I’m not licking donors’ boots, says Malawi leader

President Mrs. Joyce Banda has categorically denied accusations from some critics that Malawi is becoming a ‘donor-fearing’  nation  but  argued that she is seeking international support for the betterment if the southern African country.

The President said this on her arrival from visits to the United States and Britain where she held talks Bretton Woods institutions  IMF and the World Bank.

“Yes, I had two choices to make either to continue being arrogant as was the case before with the previous government or go to hell, well, I made a choice of cooperating with the donors because history has taught me that three years of sheer arrogance yielded nothing apart from suffering inflicted on poor Malawians,” said Banda.

President Banda at the press conference

She was responding to a question asked by a state owned Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) reporter Jane Banda  who asked her to comment on claims that she is bowing down to donors’ demands.

The visibly confident Banda, therefore defended the insinuation saying, she would rather choose to cooperate with donors for the sake of Malawians than steering the ship to hell.

“All-in-all I’m optimistic that Malawians would benefit from the trips I undertook.”

MRA probe report ready    

Meanwhile, Vice President Khumbo Kachali told the President during the news conference that the special cabinet committee instituted to probe Minister of Finance Dr. Ken Lipenga in the K30 billion Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) loan scam has concluded its findings and the results would be made public soon.

The vice president was heading the committee which included Defence Minister Ken Kandodo, Water and Irrigation Minister Ritchie Muheya and Local Government and Rural Development Minister Grace Maseko.

Lipenga came under fire recently when he admitted that MRA borrowed money from some commercial banks after denying the same in Parliament in February this year when the matter was first revealed by Balaka South MP George Nnensa.

Dual citizenship

Asked further on how her government would handle the issue of dual citizenship which was raised by Malawians in UK and USA, the president said she cannot just wake up one morning and make a declaration describing the issue as sensitive and needs special attention.

Responded Banda: “There is a reason why dual citizenship is not allowed and I’m consulting with Immigration officials and the cabinet on how to handle the issue, until that process is done, then my government will come up with a position on the matter.”

But she said the government has opened the debate.

No Independence celebration

Meanwhile,  President  Banda also confirmed that this year Malawi would not be able to hold independence celebrations on July 6 as part of austerity measures.

“Holding such celebrations is expensive actually we need to raise over K100 million, so it is better to use such huge sums of money on buying drugs in hospital, however, we will have national day of prayers instead.”

The country will however hold national interdenominational prayers to commemorate the Independence.

Welcome home the First Couple. Photo by Martin Kalima/Nyasa Times
Ruling PP members welcoming the Malawi leader. Photo by Martin Kalima/Nyasa Times

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