Minister of Information Moses Kunkuyu has justified Joyce Banda’s entourage of over 40 people to the United Nations (UN) General Assembly to be held in New York, saying each delegate taken on board on the trip will have a role to play and that by involving players from various sectors on one trip the government will save a great deal.
This entourage which will cost tax payers over K308 million includes chiefs who have no identifiable role at the UN General Assembly.
However, govt justified their inclusion of traditional leaders on the trip.
Moses Kunkuyu said the chiefs were not going to the Assembly in their capacity as traditional leaders but as key players in various tasks President Banda assigned them.
Kunkuyu could not explain what the traditional leaders will be doing at the UN and was quick to throw a cheap shot at the former ruling DPP saying that the traditional leaders were abused in the past.
Kunkuyu further said government had taken advantage of the fact that the 67th Session of the UN General Assembly would draw key players in various sectors across the globe, a development he said would enable the country’s delegates interact with their counterparts all at one time.
“People have to look at the importance of the trip and what we will benefit as a country following the trip,” said Kunkuyu, “It is a rare opportunity for the president to garner support from development partners world over to assist Malawi in a number of areas.”
He said the president and her delegation would participate in 25 bilateral meetings at this single trip, a thing he said would have been more costly if every player President Banda has taken on board were to make individual trips to meet their counterparts elsewhere.