Malawi President’s wife under pressure for abusing public funds

Malawi’s First Lady Getrude Mutharika is facing pressure to refund an estimate of £80 000 taxpayers money used for her trip to Britain to attend her son’s graduation.

The Malawi President’s wife is reported to have been accompanied by a large group of aids to the UK and was sleeping in expensive hotels booked by the Malawi High Commission in London.

The State House confirmed the use of the public funds by Mrs Mutharika for the “personal” trip.

Gift Trapence, the Vice-Chairperson for the Human Rights Defenders Coalition which is championing the post-elections’ protests in Malawi gave Mrs Mutharika 7 days ultimatum to refund the money.

“The money that was used by the First Lady for her personal trip was taxpayers money, and we need her to pay back within seven days,” he said.

Trapence said Malawians will go on the streets soon to protest for their money if Mrs Mutharika does not refund the money.

Jackson Msiska, a social commentator based in northern Malawi has backed the calls for Mrs Mutharika to refund the money.

“It is very painful and unacceptable to see our millions of kwacha being spent for personal trips while people out there are suffering from different illnesses because they can’t access medicine in hospitals due to shortage of drugs,” said Msiska, “let her pay back our money or else let’s protest until she pays back.”

The State House has not yet reacted to the calls.

A few years ago, the First Lady was also under attack for drawing funds for initiating HIV and Aids activities from several public institutions for her Beautify Malawi organisation which has nothing to do with HIV and Aids-related activities.

Human rights organisations protested against the act and demanded her pay back the money.

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