President Peter Mutharika is being faulted for going against the spirit of austerity in times of economic turmoil by blowing millions of taxpayers’ money on travel Ethiopia a chartered private jet where he is to receive an honorary degree.
Malawi is facing financial problems coupled with food crisis and had to cancel 52nd Independence celebrations but yet afford the President a private jet for receiving an honorary degree at Addis Abbaba University.
Accoridng to Malawi News, Mutharika left Malawi on Kamuzu International Airport on an Embraer Legacy 600 registration ZS – ECB which is owned by South African company ECB.
The paper reported that there is a direct commercial flight from Lilongwe to Addis Abbaba everyday with Ethiopian Airways.
Tax payers will cough about $5,250 per day for the jet. Mutharika is expected to fly to Nigeria again where he will be receiving an award at African Achievers Awards.
Mutharika will be conferred the degree on Saturday 9th July, 2016 at Addis Ababa University for the outstanding work he has done in academia in Africa but also in the world.
Opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP) spokesperson Dr Jessie Kabwila, an acamedician herself, said Mutharika is “insensitive” and “wasteful” to spend public money to go to receive a honourary degree in times of economic turmoil.
But the President said part of the reason the university is honoring him is the progress Malawi is making from being a dependent country to a self sufficient nation.
Mutharika is on record quashing critics against his use of private jet
He said: “This nonsense has to stop.”
Mutharika also declared that he can do without taxpayers’ money, saying he is not in the job for easy cash.
The President said he was already a millionaire when he returned to Malawi from the United States of America (USA) where he was a university professor.
“You can check my [bank] account in New York,” said Mutharika, who had lived and worked in the USA for roughly 40 years before returning to his homeland in 2007.
The Malawi leader , however, admitted that people have to endure some socio-economic woes now before they experience better lives in future. He said the economic situation will improve soon.
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