President Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika has refuted media reports saying that he is staying in a New York hotel that is costing Malawi taxpayers about K7 million per night.

Mutharika blasted the claims on Tuesday when he was addressing the press in the United States of America.

“I am not crazy to stay in a hotel room that costs $17 000 [about K6.8 million] per night. It is unimaginable how someone thinks I am crazy to do this. I am not crazy”, said Mutharika.

He added: “a simple inquiry to either the hotel, the Malawi Permanent Mission to the United Nations (UN), the Ministry of Finance, the State Residences or the Ministry of Information would have shown that nothing closer to the claimed amount was being spent on accommodation”.

“On a normal day, my room costs about $390, but because the rates of almost everything in New York go up during the UN General Assembly, at the time I came it cost about $2 000 [about K800 000]. For those that are coming now, it could be costing about $2 000 plus”, he said.

Mutharika also denied media reports saying that his trip to US comprises of 60 people.

“The delegation from State House is about 20 people. There are people from ministries who have come to attend meetings that are relevant to their ministries. There are also people who have been funded by the private sector.

We also have six journalists; three from Malawi News Agency, two from Malawi Broadcasting Corporation and one from the private media: Nation Publications Limited”, said Mutharika.

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