A spokesman for Malawi’s President Bingu wa Mutharika has denied that the Head of State is ill, after reports and speculations were rife that he was hospitalized in China.
Dr Hetherwick Ntaba told the private-owned Zodiak Broadcasting Station on Saturday that President Mutharika is on “holiday” and in “good health” somewhere in the world.
Ntaba said Mutharika will return to Malawi soon.
“We have said many times in the media that the president is off on a short leave,” said Ntaba.
“He will be back in Malawi within the few days. It will not be too long,” said the presidential spokesman.
It has been rumoured that the 78-year-old Malawi ruler had been undergoing specialist treatment in China.
Ntaba strongly refuted the stories and insisted that Mutharika is very strong and healthy.
“He is in good health,” stressed Ntaba who declined to give the exact location of the President.
Ntaba also told the Weekend Nation that it was not necessary to disclose the location of the President during his vacation.
He said “it is not necessary” to inform Malawians “where the President is, or what he is doing, he has a right to his own privacy.”
The presidential spokesman said it wrong to accuse the President for taking holiday amidst crises rocking the country.
“Economic hardships in Malawi and some kind of hardships will always be there,” said Ntaba.
Malawi is currently suffering from fuel shortage due to dollar shortage and there has been an upward increase of the commodity triggering price increases.
Ntaba also stressed that Mutharika is in-charge of the running of the country through roaming.
“You know when he is in Lilongwe at his head office, he controls and when he is in Mzuzu away from his head office, he controls, and so does he when he is in Thyolo and in any part of the small global village; the control is the same way,” he said in the paper.
“The country is still being under his control the President is still in charge wherever he is on the globe,” said Ntaba on the radio interview.
Meanwhile, leader of opposition United Democratic Front (UDF) in parliament, Ibrahim Matola said they will demand government starts sitting from November 14 to explain the whereabouts of the president.
The Malawi ruler left on October 25 to attend the Commonwealth summit in Australia which ended on Monday, October 31 and then proceeded to holiday since.
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