09:48 pm - Wednesday 21 November 2018

Should Malawi have a presidential Jet or not?

By Analytical Rose - Fri Aug 22, 7:32 pm

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Malawi: Ever since the controversy about owning a presidential jet started, back in those days when the now Ex-president sold our jet, I have tried to ignore the subject because to me it is very obvious that a jet is needed by the person who has the No.1 job in country to conduct business quickly and efficiently to develop Malawi.Up to this day I am not clear what really happened to our jet. Joyce Banda told us that she was going to sell the jet to save money for Malawi.First of all I gather up to now this money is no where to be found. It even more unclear as to whether this is poor management on the part of Mai Banda or whether evil stuff was going on! sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference these days! Suffice to say that what ever happened to the jet does not seem to have helped Malawi one iota. If anybody is more clear where the money went please let us know.

Personally I feel getting rid of the plane was a short sighted move. Even if the plane was sold for it’s purchase price, transparently, the money so generated would only last a few weeks in whatever aspect of Malawi’s expenditure one cares to mention. Really for a business woman, Joyce Banda’s logic here raises very serious concerns! At least if it was left in situ, transport for the serving president would be available readily; they would travel efficiently taking shorter period of time and business would be carried out quickly and they would go home, quickly to carry on business. The trouble with commercial flights is that there is a lot of waiting time which prolongs the journey but also costs a lot of money while the presidents entourage is accommodated in hotels on route! To argue that the plane would cost money is not valid because this is necessary expenditure.I gather going and coming to the states for the president this time took 4 days out of the presidents schedule!Which means in between he had to be accommodated and security measures taken! I dont see what is economical about that. I would love it for someone to work out how much such journeys cost and compare why would happen if we had a jet Chartering a plane is just as expensive!

Presidential Jet

Presidential Jet

I have heard The current president say that Malawians have to decide if they want a jet for the president. Well this is a good clean way of leaving it to the Malawians, but it worries me, how are we going to know what Malawians want? are we talking about a referendum? are we talking about a debate in the House of Assembly?The person in the job knows how important it might be to have a presidential jet. I therefore put it to the president that he has to be more proactive about this and tell Malawians what is needed and make a very clear case of it so that as they make their decision, how ever that ends up being they are making an informed decision.

For me it is extremely obvious, the jet should have never been sold, if there are other ways of maximizing it’s usefulness that should have been done. Someone relevant should make a clear business explanation that shows clearly that Malawi needs a jet just like any other nation.The difference is that we can’t have the likes of Air force One! because simply we can’t afford it but if you add up all these monies the president will spend making these slow journeys around the world we will have bought another jet by the end of it all.I have no doubt Mutharika knows he needs a jet but he does not want to be accused of being extravagant.My only plea is to ask the president to be more pro active and tell people why the jet is important, and give them the chance of information before they make up their mind on the subject.

I have fly round the world and sometime you can spend a whole day connecting flights, you are more tired at the end of it! and a lot of time is spent changing these flights plus you need to pay for hotels and accommodation from one place to another until you get to where you are going! In the final analysis I say a Presidential jet is needed but are there ways of doing it so that it would be more cost effective to use it? Malawians need to engage in that debate if we are to help our president deliver what we want him to deliver. The president needs to be more forth coming in saying whether it is needed and why so people understand.Comments are welcome on this subject!

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