As debate continues on Malawi’s bloated entourage to the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York, information reaching FaceofMalawi indicates that President Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika has abandoned the expensive hotel for a cheaper one.

Mutharika is said to have travelled with over 120 people of which most of them are Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) followers and Traditional Authority who have nothing to do with the trip.

The trip is said to have cost over MK300 Million just for air tickets.

According to information at hand, officials at the Malawi Embassy in New York had booked the President at the luxurious five-star Waldof Astoria Hotel in New York, but upon learning about the cost, Mutharika shunned the hotel and opted for Hilton hotel in the same city.

Both Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation George Chaponda and Chief Secretary to the President George Mkondiwa confirmed of the development in an interview with Malawi News Agency (MANA).

According to Nation Newspaper reports, rates at Waldorf Astoria Hotel range from $469 (K267 330) to $560 (K319 200) per day while at New York Hilton Midtown; the cheapest room is at $199 (K113 430) per day.

During the same trip last year, Mutharika drew criticism for staying at Waldorf Astoria in Midtown Manhattan where taxpayers paid $2 000 a day for the room which on a normal day costs about $390. It is likely that this time around the hotel is more than $2 000.

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ZIMENE MUMAKONDA

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