To: His Excellency The President of The Republic of Malawi, Prof Arthur Peter Mutharika
Copy: Minister of Foreign Affairs & International Cooperation, Hon Dr George Chaponda
Copy: Minister of Information & Civic Education, Hon Jappie Mhango
Copy: Leader of Opposition, Right Hon Rev Dr Lazarus Chakwera
Copy: Speaker of Parliament, Hon Richard Msowoya
Copy: Leaders of all Political Parties represented in Parliament
Copy: Your Excellencies, Heads of Diplomatic Corps
Copy: Editors; The Nation, The Daily Times, Nyasatimes, Malawi Voice, All Newspapers & All Broadcasting Houses
It is with great concern that I have to write you personally even though protocol may demand otherwise.
About a week ago, Malawians were shocked at the sight of a picture depicting you Your Excellency desperately queuing at an International Airport in order to be checked in for Your Excellency’s connecting flight.
I wish to protest in strongest terms to all authorities of the Government in which country Your Excellency faced that demeaning occurrence. I am very concerned that the Government in question did not follow International Protocols required to be accorded to Heads of States that are within their Sovereign Territories be it in transit or as Guests of the particular Government.
I am however surprised that our own Government either through OPC or Ministry of Foreign Affairs have not condemned this act.
My layman’s analysis find these Offices even more at fault that they seemed not to offer Professional Advice to You, Your Excellency and the Protocol Team responsible for your Protocol and Logistics. Your Excellency, having travelled far and wide yourself, you ought to have realised that in Your Excellency’s present status, you travel on Diplomatic Dignity as a VVIP as such you were not supposed to queue ordinarily no matter the circumstances. Worse, by letting an official Government Photographer to take a picture of Your Excellency looking tired, desperate and with no clue of what is happening and then share it to the world, the responsible Ministry has not only embarrassed you Your Excellency but your whole top officials and the country too.
The world has seen how mediocre your Team is in its display of ignorance about the privileges entitled to a Head of State & Government on a foreign trip. Your Team has not only embarrassed you Your Excellency but also the Nation that it let its tired looking President go on a foreign business trip in a Commercial Flight, very embarrassing.
Having said this Your Excellency, it looks like all the responsible officials did all this deliberately, not to embarrass you, but to put it to the Nation and the world at large that Your Excellency needs a Presidential Jet. This is what as a nation, we need to guard seriously.
Your Excellency, you have talked much on austerity and I urge you to stand by your word other than let the misguided officials convince you otherwise. In its present status, Malawi has major issues that need urgent interventions other than the talk of buying a Jet.
It may not please you Your Excellency to learn that patients in Referral Hospitals are offered one meal a day yet some medication demands that they be taken 3 times a day and only after the patient has eaten.
It may not please you Your Excellency to learn that to date, almost all District Hospital Ambulances are grounded for lack of fuel due to limited monthly allocations.
It may not please you Your Excellency to learn that Kamuzu Central Hospital, the country’s 2nd largest Referral Hospital has a nonworking CT Scan Machine, a mal-functional X-Ray Machine and a mal-functional Dialysis Machine.
It may not please you Your Excellency to learn that to date, about 19,000 Primary School Teachers in total who graduated two years ago including those who graduated last year have not yet been offered jobs and yet there are so many schools whose Student – Teacher Ratio still remains unacceptable in international standards.
It may not please you Your Excellency that 51 Graduate Doctors have not yet been offered jobs in our understaffed Hospitals and yet our Health Delivery is very poor due to lack of adequate Medical Personnel.
All these plus many more problems that I have not highlighted here are all due to lack of funds as such, it would be demeaning to your Office and an insult to the Nation that some officials would be advocating that the country should forego all these and advise Your Excellency to authorise the purchase of a Presidential Jet. It is a fact that we may need one, and the sad fact that the one the country had was sold, however, in its present situation, Malawi has got more issues that need Your Excellency’s urgent attention other than the purchase of a Presidential Jet.
In case Your Excellency were not informed of all these, doubt the motives of your officials for not informing you. Also, question all the members of the Protocol & Publicity Teams for not arranging Diplomatic VVIP passage for you and for allowing to share a poorly taken picture of Your Excellency, looking tired and desperate. Their intentions are not in good faith.
Dawn Gowa Nyasulu
Luwuchi L.E.A. School