State House has attacked British newspaper, The Times for allegedly criticizing President Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika for residing in an expensive hotel while attending the Commonwealth Heads of Governments Meeting (CHOGM) 2018 in London and while on an official visit to Scotland.

The online publications reported that Mutharika and his “six-strong party” was accommodated at Prestonfield Hotel in Edinburgh where the cost of a single suite for one night is up to £450 (about K450 000).

The paper describes the cost as “more than 30 times the money needed to feed a child for a year in the country, saying his stay in Edinburgh had caused concern.

Reacting to the reports, Presidential Press Officer Mgeme Kalilani trashed the publication saying the figures a cooked up.

“State House would like to put it on record that hotel expenses for His Excellency Prof. Arthur Peter Mutharika were arranged and met by the United Kingdom Government being the host of the CHOGM Meeting 2018. President Mutharika was accommodated at the InterContinental hotel in London.

“Similarly, while on an official visit to Scotland, the host government, the Government of Scotland, identified, arranged and paid for the hotel expenses for the President. In Scotland, the host Government decided to accommodate President Mutharika at the Prestonfield House in Edinburgh,” said Kalilani.

He added: “The State House is therefore surprised that while the Scottish Government arranged and paid for hotel expenses for President Prof. Arthur Peter Mutharika being their official guest as per diplomatic tradition, some newspapers both local and international have decided to accuse him of being lavish and made him and the people of Malawi the subject of insults and denigration.

“State House is calling upon all media houses in the country to avoid copy-pasting reports from international media publications without doing own research about the issues being reported. The local media should stay steadfast against international tabloids that are bent on hate-reporting and denigrating the image of Africa and its leaders for imperialistic reasons.”

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