President of Malawi under fire for motorhome purchase

Peter Mutharika, President of Malawi

The President of Malawi, Peter Mutharika, is under fire from opposition MP Kamlepo Kalua over the purchase of a motorhome which cost MKW150 million (EUR210,000).

Kamlepo says that this could have provided three meals a day in all public hospitals throughout the country.  Meals and ambulance services have been axed through budget cuts in Malawi.

The government says that it has bought a motorhome but paid MKW65 million (EUR92,000).  The vehicle replaces another which is six years old and according to the Malawian government was always breaking down.

A spokesperson said that the motorhome is not a luxurious model because it is 'small and an ordinary'.  

President Mutharika uses the vehicle on long journeys for resting and is undoubtedly much cheaper than a helicopter.  Apparently when no motorhome is available President Mutharika needs to use the toilet in petrol stations which the spokesperson described as being 'despicable' as well as 'demeaning'.

The purchase of the motorhome came only a few months after the government accused the opposition of wasting state funding on official vehicles.

The 75 year old president studied law in the UK and US and until 2014 held US residency so that may be where he got the idea of a presidential motorhome from.