MALAWIANS have erupted on social media in anger saying it is “unprecedent and shocking” that their President Lazarus Chakwera has included his daughter Violet Chakwera in a 10 member delegation trip to United Kingdom for a Global Education Summit.
Violet, an outbound air tickets sales agent has just been appointed as a diplomat to Brussels in Belgium.
Chakwera’s second born daughter, Violet Lillie is said to have taken a place meant for a powerful Foreign Affairs Minister Eisenhower Mkaka.
However, Mkaka said: “This is an education summit being co-hosted by the British Prime Minister and Kenyan President. Different heads of government and state will attend this meeting.
“They have limited the entourage to 10. Malawi is already benefiting from this Global Education Initiative. The policies to be made there will directly impact Malawi. It is imperative that the president attend this.”
Our source at the Ministry of Affairs and International Corporation confided that Mkaka, who, as per government protocol, is supposed to be in advance party when the Head of State is travelling to a foreign country has been excluded from the trip to London where his skillsets are much needed.
“The president’s eldest daughter, Violet has been included on the list of a 10 member delegation to the UK presumably taking up a place meant for Foreign Affairs Minister.
“What she is going to do there, only her and her father knows. It is really sad that instead of taking on the trip people who could make use of the summit and do government business, the president is taking his daughter,” said the source.
Foreign Affairs Minister Eisenhower Mkaka in an interview said the UK Global Education summit, which is funded by the British government is important to Malawi.
President Chakwera leaves for London on Sunday to attend the Global Education Summit being championed by UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta.
The host, British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson may not attend the summit in person as earlier planned as he is isolating after he got in contact with his his Secretary of State for Health who tested positive to Covid-19.
Initially, the Malawi delegation presented a list of 61 people including President Chakwera for the summit but the British government cut the list to only 10 people including Chakwera.
The Malawi delegation will dine and wine at the Intercontinental Hotel, one of the most expensive hotels in London where suites cost more than 800 British Pounds (K800,000) per night.
The British Government is footing all the bills.
President Chakwera has come under fire recently for lacking in reality and taking Malawians for “fools” by appointing his daughter Violet to serve as a diplomat in Brussels. Chakwera and his communication team has failed to parry away accusations of nepotism, a thing he heavily criticised former President Peter Mutharika.
“What is her daughter going to do in Brussels? Does working as a ticket sales agent gives one diplomatic qualifications?” wondered one Judith Gondwe, a social commentator on her Facebook page.
Others are speculating that Chakwera is offering an escape route for his daughter’s marital problems.
“The daughter is naughty and the father want her away from the country avoiding bring shame of the State House,” wrote John Phiri on this Twitter post.
Chakwera promised to end nepotism and favouritism, which he said was the hallmark of his predecessor, Peter Mutharika’s government – a key pledge during his election campaign in 2020.
Social media is awash with screenshots of speeches and newspaper cuttings depicting the president condemnation of his predecessor for being nepotistic.
A philanthropist and social media influencer, Stanley Onjezani Kenani, who was also a fierce critic of the former regime, is among the more prominent voices condemning President Chakwera, suggesting he is proving to be worse than Peter Mutharika.
“The last time I checked, Peter Mutharika never appointed any son or daughter of his to any taxpayer funded position,” Kenani said.
Social media influencer and Journalist Idriss Ali Nassah said: “The president does not see anything wrong in hiring his own own daughter as a diplomat because she is qualified as an air ticket sales agent.
“President Chakwera vehemently criticised former president Arthur Peter Mutharika for being nepotistic and yet Chakwera is showing his nepotistic colours.”
State House spokesperson and president Chakwera’s Press Secretary Brian Banda has since defended the president’s appointments, saying everyone who has been given a job was considered for positions based on their qualifications.
Malawians refuse to believe his statement simply branding them “lies.” Nyasa Times