23 May 2018

Malawi Govt Under Fire for Blowing K420 Million On Three Ministers Luxury Cars

Photo: Nyasa Times
Minister of Finance and Economic planning Goodall Gondwe arrives in Parliament in his new Pravo VX to present the 2018 national budget Speech.

Government's executive arrogance and impunity has reached new levels with revelations that it has blown a whooping K420 million on new cars for three of its cabinet ministers.

With tax-payers money, Capital Hill has bought three top of the range Toyota Prado VX vehicles for three cabinet ministers namely Jappie Mhango, Grace Chiumia and Goodall Gondwe.

Government officials confirmed of the new purchase saying the three ministers 'did not have' cars.

Principal Secretary for Office of the President and Cabinet Cliff Chiunda confirmed that government 'has only bought three vehicles because these ministers had no vehicles'.

Political Analysts believe the expenditure is a sign of executive arrogance and impunity especially coming at a time when the country's economy has taken a knock.

"We are sailing in economic troubles and the last thing that government needed to do is to be insensitive and spend K420 million on only three people. This is a sign of executive arrogance," said a political analyst.

Malawi's daily newspaper, the Daily Times condemned the purchase in its editorial comment.

"So the purchase of the three luxurious vehicles only shows that the country's democracy is visionless and heartless."

"Great leaders do not build themselves up. They build others up and they build multitudes out of poverty, misery and hopelessness. It is all about sacrifice," reads the comment in part.

It continues to say that it is not news in Malawi that some hospitals are running without essential drugs, schools are lacking essential teaching and learning materials, some roads are impassable and civil servants continue grumbling because of meagre salaries.

In its poverty assessment report released in 2017, the World Bank said overrepresentation of poverty in rural areas has kept national poverty levels stagnant, declining only from 52 percent to 51 percent, whereas the share of extreme poor has risen from 22 percent to 25 percent since 2004.

"It beats the reasoning of many that the government has spent about K420 million to buy Land Cruiser Prado VXs for three Cabinet ministers said to have had no vehicles.On the local market, a top-of-the-range Toyota Prado VX is selling at K140 million each with duty paid."

"Of course, K420 million could have assisted in alleviating some of the challenges the country is facing," reads the paper's comment in part.

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