By Lydia Kalonde Maganga
Blantyre, October 23, Mana: Malawi President Dr. Lazarus Chakwera has advised senior government officials against unnecessary spending of tax payers’ money in the name of attending presidential engagements.
Speaking on Friday during the official opening of the Sogecoa Golden Peacock Hotel in Blantyre, Chakwera said it was not justifiable for government officials to abandon their offices and follow the president or his vice around whenever he has a function to attend.
“It is only realistic to have a limited number of government officials during my functions and it would only make sense to attend a function that you will be needed or you are directly involved,” he said.
“I believe some of you see it as protocol to be present at my functions; but that is wastage of government money.
“Serve the people you were appointed to serve- Malawians and not me, that is the duty you are mandated to perform,” he said.
Chakwera also asked the Minister of Homeland Security, Richard Chimwendo Banda to look into the matter of closing roads for hours to pave way for the presidential motorcade across the country, saying the practice has potential to frustrate citizens and could contribute to unproductivity.
“I know this is the privilege of the presidency and for my own security but I feel there can be another way of seeing that people are not being stopped from doing their businesses just because they are waiting for my motorcade,” said Chakwera.
He, therefore, asked the Minister of Homeland Security to liaise with the Inspector General of Police, Dr. George Kainja to devise a way through which motorists are not inconvenienced whenever he travels.
“In Lilongwe, for example, we don’t hold people on the road for more than 15 minutes for my motorcade to get through and that can happen across the country,” the president added.