State House has trashed claims by Rumphi East Member of Parliament Kamlepo Kalua that it bought a luxurious vehicle for President Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika worth MK150 million, saying the claims are not true.

Kamlepo told Daily Times newspaper of December 31, 2015 that the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) regime purchased a vehicle at MK150 million despite the economic down turn which has seen most of the public hospitals running out of drugs.

Reacting to the claims in a statement released on Sunday, Presidential Press Officer Gerald Viola accepted the purchase of the said the vehicle but denied the price tagged to it, saying the vehicle was bought at MK65 million.

“The motor home in question was indeed purchased for MK65 million and was paid for in two equal installments. The price was not MK150 million as alleged. It was bought as a new unit in July 2015 to replace the old one which was already second-hand when it was bought over six years ago. It was having frequent breakdowns on the convoy and at one time, it had to be towed back to base. This shows the mechanical condition the old unit was in. It certainly had to be replaced.

“The motor home is not a luxurious model because it is small and an ordinary unit in the line of motor homes. On the President’s convoy, it is not a recreational vehicle, but a very essential and most functional unit of the convoy. The previous Presidents’ convoys had motor homes too. Before the current President became President, he had a private motor home, which he still has, that he used on his campaign trips as a washroom,” said Viola.

Viola said the vehicle is very important to Mutharika as it save some cost that can be anchored.

“On these long trips, as well as long field functions, the President uses the motor home as a washroom. He also takes his meals in it when he is on the road during meal times. The alternative would be for him to use filling station washrooms or other despicable facilities along the way. That would be most demeaning and a serious state security compromise. It would be unforgivable for Malawians to degrade the State President or the President’s office to such a low extent,” added Viola.

Viola then urged Kalua and other critics to check with his office facts before going to the media to attack Mutharika and his administration.

“Daily Times Newspaper should have done likewise before going to print and writing the editorial in which they ignored the accurate figures given by the State House and used the false figures from Hon Kalua. Standing Orders in Parliament hold Hon Kalua responsible for the accuracy of his statements in the august House. He is liable to appropriate Parliamentary discipline if he lies or misleads fellow MPs. Outside of Parliament, he is equally responsible and morally bound not to mislead the public, which he has done unfortunately,” said Viola.

Meanwhile Viola has urged Kalua and all concerned Malawians to join hands with Government, to have constructive dialogue across the political divide, and to move forward for national development.

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