Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development Goodall Gondwe has rejected accusations that he is in poor health, downplaying reports that pushed on a wheel chair from a check in point to a boarding lounge at OR Tambo Airport in South Africa.
The 81-year-old minister confirmed he was wheeled at the airport because of a recurrent backache.
Speaking in Lilongwe on Thursday in a series of pre-budget consultations, Gondwe said he was enjoying good health.
He played down assertions that old age is now catching up with him.
“I am fit and well,” said Gondwe at Bingu International Convention Centre.
“I could have made these remarks while seated but I thought I should stand at this podium to show that I am fit contrary to social media reports that I was old and dying,” he added.
He said it was true that he was wheeled to catch a flight back home.
“What happened was that airport personnel at OR Tambo Airport I was struggling with my walking and thought I would be better served on a wheelchair so they brought me a wheelchair just to ensure I moved fast to the next point of airport service.
“So I am fit and people should not worry about that.”
Commenting on the 2017/18 National Budget, the Finance Minister said the financial plan is set to roll out on July 1 would remain at K1.2 trillion.
Gondwe said such would be the case because of improvements in the economic environment.
He said they want to “ equate the domestic revenue with expenditure.”
Gondwe said places where government priorities demand more money, they will increase the funding and those areas which are less productive they will decrease the money.
The minister said government will consider suggestions made by stakeholders on key priority areas, including issues to do with climate change.
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