She means business: Malawi president Joyce Banda ready to sell presidential jet, luxury car fleet

Photo credit: The Malay Mail

 

by Tolu Orekoya

 

Malawian President Joyce Banda is ready to roll up her sleeves and clean up the dirt when it comes to her country’s financial situation. Her first moves include ditching the ostentatious rides in the presidential fleet and multi-million presidential jet; an apparent lead-by-example decision.

 

Banda came into office after her predecessor, President Bingu Wa Mutharika passed away this April. A vice president in the outs with much of the political party she originally signed up with, there had been moves to prevent her from ascending to the position of president. She prevailed and now is taking several steps to improve the perception of the Malawian leadership.

 

The presidential jet, a Dassault Falcon 900EX jet worth $12.9 million was bought in 2009, a purchase Mutharika justified at the time by saying it was cheaper than chartering a plane each time he wanted to travel. The purchase was decried at the time as an unnecessary expense for the cash-strapped nation which still relies heavily on foreign donors. Banda was ready to give it up saying, “I am already used to hitch-hiking,” when queried by the local press, according to the UK Guardian. Going forward, she plans to travel by commercial airlines.

 

She also plans to get rid of the country’s 60-Mercedes Benz fleet.

 

She divulged the information to Britain’s international development secretary, Andrew Mitchell, during a private meeting between the two parties. After the meeting Mitchell said, “At a time of austerity in both Britain and Malawi, president Banda’s decision to sell or lease the presidential jet and expensive fleet of cars sends an enormously encouraging signal to British taxpayers and the international community about the seriousness president Banda is applying to overturn bad decisions taken under the previous government. The proceeds can be used to provide basic services to Malawi’s poorest people who urgently need help following the vital devaluation of the currency.” Britain is Malawi’s biggest foreign aid donor.

 

Britain had earlier pledged £20m to help stabilise the Malawian economy and an additional £10m for the country’s health system.

 

Source: The UK Guardian

The presidential jet, a Dassault Falcon 900EX jet worth $12.9 million was bought in 2009, a purchase Mutharika justified by saying it was cheaper than chartering a plane each time he wanted to travel. The purchase was decried at the time as an unnecessary expense for the cash-strapped nation which still relies heavily on foreign donors. Banda was ready to give it up saying, “I am already used to hitch-hiking,” when queried by the local press, according to the UK Guardian. Going forward, she plans to travel by commercial airlines.

She also plans to get rid of the country’s 60-Mercedes Benz fleet.

She divulged the information to Britain’s international development secretary, Andrew Mitchell, during a private meeting between the two parties. After the meeting Mitchell said, “At a time of austerity in both Britain and Malawi, president Banda’s decision to sell or lease the presidential jet and expensive fleet of cars sends an enormously encouraging signal to British taxpayers and the international community about the seriousness president Banda is applying to overturn bad decisions taken under the previous government. The proceeds can be used to provide basic services to Malawi’s poorest people who urgently need help following the vital devaluation of the currency.” Britain is Malawi’s biggest foreign aid donor.

Britain had earlier pledged £20m to help stabilise the Malawian economy and an additional £10m for the country’s health system.

Source: The UK Guardian

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Comments (2)

  1. Jonathan take note oooo…..

  2. A gud Malawian in deed. Oh my home, oh my home, when will Nigerian leaders behave so.

cool good eh love2 cute confused notgood numb disgusting fail