Malawi: Bingu blows US$337,000 on foreign trip

malawi_bingu_2As the Malawi economy continues to suffocate due to an acute forex shortage, President Dr Bingu wa Mutharika has drawn US$337,000 for his trip to Italy, Trinidad and Tobago as well as Spain.

The money has been drawn on government accounts at National Bank, cleared through the Reserve Bank of Malawi, Nyasa Times understands.

A source at the Government Treasury has told Nyasa Times that the President has been excessive in drawing such a huge amount especially considering the forex shortage in the country.

US$337,000 has been drawn by the President to cover the trip and his entrounge and this is unprecedented in such difficult forex shortage times, said the well-placed source.

Mutharika left the country on Sunday for Rome, Italy to attend the World Food summit organized by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

On departure, President Mutharika disclosed that from Rome, he will proceed to the islands of Trinidad and Tobago for this years Commonwealth Summit.

The Commonwealth is a grouping mainly of countries formerly colonized by the United Kingdom. Queen Elizabeth II is the symbolic head of the multi-national organization.

The President left in the new presidential jet which has been purchased at the price of about US$15 million. This transaction, however, is shrouded in secrecy.

Finance Minister Ken Kandodo could not comment on any of these matters, nor would new Secretary to the Treasury, Joseph Mwanamvekha, until recently Chairman of the presidents Mulhako wa Alhomwe ethnic organization.

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