No urgency in disposing of the presidential jet
A decision on whether the Presidential Jet should to be sold or not has still not been made two months after President Joyce Banda announced that she is not interested in using it as a cost cutting measure.
The President also reaffirmed her intentions to the British government, when she met the UK’s secretary of state for international Development Andrew Mitchell recently.
But the President has been using the jet on her recent foreign official trips.
Former President Bingu wa Mutharika bought the jet to the tune of over 20 million dollars amid the country’s economic challenges, a move that attracted commendation from cooperation partners, economists as well members of the public.
It reputedly costs over 300,000 dollars a year in insurance, maintenance and in allowances to the expatriate pilots.
There have been mixed reactions on whether it is viable for the government to maintain the jet or sell it.
Those in support of the idea say it would be costly to keep the jet as it would need frequent repairs, while opponents argue that hiring a jet when the president travels outside the country further defeats her objective of cutting costs.
Top government official says they still need more time before making a final decision on whether to sell the presidential jet or not.
Speaking to Capital fm, Information and Civic Education minister Moses Kunkuyu said the issue cannot be treated with urgency;
Said Kunkuyu: “Whatever decision that will be made regarding the sale of the jet or not, it will be formally communicated to the public. These are matters that need to be traded upon carefully and everyone concerned with this will be taken on board.”