Malawi Minister of Information and Civic Education, Patricia Kaliati, on Thursday launched a scathing verbal attack to Kenyan Airways after the airliner refused to sell her a ticket for a trip of a government officer to Tanzania because it could not accept the Malawi Kwacha currency.
Kenya Airways and Ethiopian Airlines are charging their airfares in US dollars respectively because of repatriation challenges they are facing due to foreign currency shortage in Malawi.
Kaliati wanted a ticket to Dar es Salaam for a Mr Matemba in the Privatisation Commission who was going to attend meeting in Dar es Salaam on the International Broadband Fibre connectivity between Tanzania and Malawi. She was refused because she wanted to pay in Kwacha and the minister fumed at the airliner officials.
“Let me talk to your big boss, the Chief Executive Officer, not you f***** people,” she fumed.
Kaliati even went ballistic and made tribal slurs towards the Malawians working for the Kenyan airliner.
She was referred to Area Manager who gave her the number for Nairobi to talk to the CEO and asked her to revert to the Area Manager but she did not.
The official then boarded South African Airways (SAA) where he connected from Johannesburg to Dar es Salaam.
SAA Country Manager for Malawi James Chikaonda has since appealed to authorities to address the foreign currency shortage, saying the airliner is failing to remit revenue back to its headquarters.
Despite the money repatriation challenges, SAA is still quoting its services in Malawi kwacha.
But Chikaonda said the company headquarters is “monitoring the situation on the ground.”
“But it has to be noted that SAA provides economic openings in the country as our food is provided by Malawi Catering Services and Catering Solution,” Chikaonda said on Tuesday when the company presented awards to its outstanding travel agents who have sold more air tickets.
“We are fuelled by Puma Energy Malawi and handled by Lihaco if there are flight disruptions all these companies will be deprived of business and they may even scale down their employment base that is why we want authorities to address the forex shortage challenge,” he added.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :