Malawian minister threatens US health organisation


Malawi’s Minister of the Elderly and People with Disabilities, Reen Kachere has told US international Health organisation Partners in Health which operates in the remote Malawian District of Neno to expel one of its drivers or risk being chased from Malawi. The development follows an argument that the minister is reported to have picked with the driver who was transporting councillors to an HIV testing site at Chifunga on the Malawi Mozambique road.

According to sources, the minister stormed Partners In Health offices on Wednesday August 8, demanding the immediate termination of the services of the driver that she picked a quarrel with. Partners In Health has however refused to comment on the matter.

PIH External Relations Manager Samson Njolomole said on Monday that his organisation was not in a position to comment on the matter.

However eye witnesses told AfricaNews that the minister stormed the offices of the American Health Organisation that has been operating in the southern Malawian district from 2005 demanding that it expels one of its drivers who she alleges to have insulted her.

According to the source who sought anonymity as he is a serving civil servant, the minister stormed the offices of the District Commissioner who she asked to accompany her to PIH where she made her threats.

The source said that the Minister who was very uncompromising demand that she be taken to the organisation’s offices where she spit fire upon arrival.

Some sources at PIH said that the minister is reported to have said that the US charity has to either dismiss its driver or failing this it will be expelled from Malawi.

However Kachere’s remarks have been described as unfortunate by political players in the district.
Ruling People’s Party Constituency Treasurer for Neno South Gilbert Chikoko said it was very unfortunate that the minister made the threats at the American charity.

Chikoko said Joyce Banda’s government was promoting relationships with the international community and it would be counterproductive for a sitting minister to insult a donor that has served lives of thousands of Malawians in the district.

Chikoko said the minister needed to understand that as a public servant she needed to portray a good image and her action at the American charity was unwelcome.

Malawi government Spokes Person Moses Kunkuyu could not be reached on his mobile, however the information minister recently told AfricaNews that Banda’s government wanted to mend the sour relationships that the country had made with donors in the Mutharika administration.

Kacheres remarks have since irked some locals at Neno who say the minister jumped her boundary as the PIH offices are located in upper Neno which is represented by Gladys Tembo.

PIH recently made it in the international headlines when it was attacked by some disgruntled workers at the districts health facility who were demanding that the organisation go out of the district as it had removed the salary top ups it had been giving health personnel in the district.

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