Malawi’s President Lazarus Chakwera has sparked outrage in his country after he travelled to the United Kingdom (UK) to attend a virtual conference.
Chakwera justified his trip to the UK to attend The Global Education Summit, arguing that the internet in his country was unreliable.
Chakwera has come under criticism in his country for electing to travel to London for a summit that is being held on virtual platforms.
The Malawian president chose to travel to the United Kingdom with a 10-member entourage. The delegation included his wife, First Lady Monica Chakwera; daughter, Violet Lillie and the president’s son-in-law, Sean Kampondeni, who is the State House director of communications.
Chakwera said that he needed his daughter there because she would provide physical and emotional support during the trip as the First Lady was reportedly not feeling well.
The president has also been criticised for taking his family along, particularly Violet, an outbound air tickets sales agent who was recently appointed as a diplomat to Brussels in Belgium.
A source who spoke to the Nyasa Times said, “The president’s eldest daughter, Violet has been included on the list of a 10 member delegation to the UK presumably taking up a place meant for Foreign Affairs Minister.
“What she is going to do there, only she and her father know. It is really sad that instead of taking on the trip people who could make use of the summit and do government business, the president is taking his daughter.”
However, Foreign Affairs Minister Eisenhower Mkaka defended the move saying, “This is an education summit being co-hosted by the British Prime Minister and Kenyan President. Different heads of government and state will attend this meeting.
“They have limited the entourage to 10. Malawi is already benefiting from this Global Education Initiative. The policies to be made there will directly impact Malawi. It is imperative that the president attend this.”