Private jet ‘cheap’ for poor Malawi – president

2010-06-02 13:20

Malawian President Bingu wa Mutharika said the purchase of a $13.3

million presidential jet was “cheap” for the poor southern African

country.

“It’s our own jet and it’s cheap to run. We are paying $700 an hour

to run it. When we hire a jet, we pay $10 000 an hour,” Mutharika told state

radio during a news conference.

Mutharika was speaking after arriving from the France-Africa summit

in Nice.

“Many people... arrived in their own jets to France,” he

said.

He added that those against the purchase of the jet “should take

out their offices from Malawi”, apparently referring to Britain which last year

reduced aid to Malawi by ­£3 million over concerns about the purchase.

The former colonial power is Malawi’s main bilateral donor.

Foreign aid accounts for 50% of the country’s development

budget.

Malawi is one of the poorest nations in the world, with half of its

population of 13 million living below the poverty line.



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