Malawi denies asking for jet ride: Pres. Banda to visit Botswana, updated

Malawi’s State House has denied asking Botswana presidency to get a ride in the presidential jet.

Africa Review reported the story quoting Minister of Foreign Affairs Phandu Skelemani confirmed over that President Banda would not get a ride.

But Malawi State House Press Secretary, Steve Nhlane, has dismissed the story, saying it has no basis.

Nhlane: Malawi never asked Botswana for a jet ride
Nhlane: Malawi never asked Botswana for a jet ride

Nhlane said the story is “pure lies”.

“It is not our intention to glorify lies with comments. But for the record, we want to state that the allegation against Her Excellency is a ploy aimed at distracting people’s focus from the ugly scenes Malawians witnessed last week in Blantyre and Lilongwe where members of this party went on rampage smashing people’s vehicles, blocking and burning tyres in the middle of the roads, as well as damaging public and private property,” said Nhlane.

“The Malawi Government never asked for a ride in the Botswana Presidential jet. And therefore Botswana could not reject a request that was never made to it.

“The US government is meeting travel and accommodation costs for Her Excellency,” said Nhlane, adding  that not every Head of State is attending.

“It is only four leaders in Africa whose states are exemplary democratic performers that were invited and are attending. Malawi never asked for a ride in the Botswana jet,” clarified the Presidential press secretary.

“And to be among the four top most democratic states in Africa, is another feat for Her Excellency, who, during the past nine months she has been in power, has made huge economic and governance reforms after her predecessor messed up the economy and enacted draconian laws.”

The summit is expected to address, among others, developmental concerns, democracy and the rule of law.

JB  to visit Botswana

Meanwhile, Nhlane disclosed that  President Banda will next week be undertaking a state visit to Botswana—on the invitation of that country—symbolizing the strong and ever-growing diplomatic relations between the two countries.

“The state visit falls within the framework of the country’s Economic Recovery Plan aimed at improving the Malawi economy as it will afford an opportunity for the promotion of trade and investment between the two countries,” he said.

Malawi and Botswana also have a general cooperation agreement aimed at strengthening cooperation in agriculture, livestock development, mining, education, tourism, natural resource management, energy.

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