30 November 2016 – Malawi’s new president, Joyce Banda has decided to sell the country’s £8.4m presidential jet and fleet of 60 Mercedes government cars.
Joyce Banda, who came to power in April after the death of Bingu wa Mutharika, recognised the importance of curtailing government exuberance, a problem that is endemic in so many nations across the African continent.
By ridding the state of these liabilities which benefit so few and rinse the the state coffers by so much, Joyce Banda can now start to focus on bringing Malawi’s budget deficit into surplus.
Last month Banda was quoted in the local press saying that she had no problem “offloading it (the jet) as I can well use private airliners; I am already used to hitchhiking”.
Mutharika, the previous president bought the presidential jet in 2009, claiming it was less expensive than leasing an airplane every time he travelled. He subsequently came under fire for this claim and was also condemned for purchasing a 58-room mansion in his home district and granting his wife a salary.
This positive regime change has been welcomed by western countries such as Britain, whose high commissioner was expelled by Mutharika for branding him “autocratic and intolerant of criticism”. As a result, in May this year Britain pledged £23m to help stabilise a moribund Malawian economy and £10m will be given to boost the country’s health system.
Here at Naijaviral we say, keep up the good work Joyce, and may this altruistic style of state governance prevail across the continent in the future.