Irate Malawian citizens have taken to protest against the arbitrary use of government fund after the country’s First Lady had spent an estimated £80,000 on a trip to London.
Malawian Government which receives a grant of £65million in aid from British taxpayers fund, administers a country where ordinary people are forced to survive on an average income of little more than £1 a day.
Gertrude Mutharika, wife of the President of Malawi, was in Britain last week to witness her son’s graduation ceremony.
She and a large group of aides stayed at the five-star Dorchester hotel, where rooms typically cost £700 to £900 a night, with a price of up to £5,500 for suites.
It is believed the First Lady also hired a UK-based security team to accompany her.
She was seen wearing a tailored pink overcoat and floral hat at the graduation ceremony in Rochester, Kent.
Speaking on the trip, Malawi government spokesman Mgeme Kalirani said: ‘I can confirm Her Excellency Mrs Mutharika is in the UK at our government’s expense.
Her travel, security and accommodation were arranged by our High Commission in London.’
A source at Malawi’s High Commission in London spoke of their anger at the lavish trip.
The source said: ‘The first lady and her son are out here squandering taxpayers’ money while ordinary citizens are unnecessarily dying in hospitals due to lack of medicines.
This is really sad. This should not be allowed – such conduct is tantamount to crimes against humanity.’
Angry protesters have taken to the streets demanding that Mrs Mutharika return the money spent on the jaunt, and also to allege fraud in the country’s elections in May, which resulted in Peter Mutharika retaining power.