President Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika has called off his trip to attend the 35th Ordinary Summit of SADC heads of State and Government scheduled to take place in Gaborone, Botswana from 17-18 August 2015.

According to information at hand, Mutharika has instead delegated Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Dr. George Chaponda to represent him and lead the Malawi delegation.

Briefing members of the Malawi media present at the Summit, Chaponda said President Mutharika has done this in order “to attend to other equally important and pressing issues that require his presence in the country.”

Chaponda said it has pleased the President to exercise prudence as Malawi is passing through a difficult period.

“Malawi is trying to recover from Cashgate – looting of public funds at Capital Hill – floods, lack of budgetary support, basically we are on our own and the President decided that we needed to save money by having a lean delegation.”

He gave an example that if the President travelled he would have come with a delegation of over 30 people thereby costing a lot from the national purse.

Chaponda said in the meantime “the President has personally communicated to His Excellency Robert Mugabe, President of the Republic of Zimbabwe and SADC Chairperson, and the host President who is also incoming Chairperson of SADC, His Excellency Seretse Khama Ian Khama, President of the Republic of Botswana.”

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