Lilongwe Central MP Lobin Lowe (MCP) on Tuesday said Malawi President Joyce Banda should attend the July African Union (AU) Summit in Ethiopia to show that she is not a coward.
Banda last Thursday said Vice-President Khumbo Kachali would represent Malawi at the summit which has been shifted to Addis Ababa after Malawi rejected AU secretariatâ€™s demand to host war crimes indicted Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir.
While contributing to debate on the 2012/13 budget statement in Parliament, Lowe said: “There was a concern that the State President has travelled a lot within a short space of two months. I look at the summit as a special case and should be treated with priority.
“As such, the State President should not delegate. She should attend this very important summit. She should justify that she is not a coward or traitor by failing to host the summit.”
Lowe said the summit is a crucial platform to introduce the new President to other African leaders. He said the summit would also enable Banda to share notes with several African heads of State instead of visiting them separately in their countries.
“She is the second female president in Africa [and] the summit may wish to appreciate a contribution from a wonderful mother of Malawi.
“She should show some element of seriousness. She should show the world that cancelling the summit in Malawi does not mean disowning it. Being an African, she is part of Africa [and] by birth, she needs fellow African leaders more than outsiders,” said Lowe.
He also expressed concern over governmentâ€™s failure to make extensive adjustments to the national budget after it has been deliberated in the House, arguing the situation begs a question on who owns the budget when it is passed.
Leader of the House Henry Phoya described Loweâ€™s contribution as not related to the budget motion on the floor.