Banda was addressing a rally of her PeopleÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Party (PP) at Kasiya in MalawiÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s capital, Lilongwe, on Wednesday. Earlier in the day, Banda handed over a house her Orange Achievers Movement built for an old lady at Kaphande Village in the central Malawi district of Mchinji.
But Information and Civic Education Minister Patricia Kaliati said in an interview BandaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s worries are misplaced as the country has benefited from such summits, including immediate foreign exchange earnings, business networking and tourism promotion.
Banda, who said it pains her to see people suffering in rural areas, argued that currently the country cannot afford to procure ambulances for all health centres, provide decent wages for its workers despite rising costs and thatÃ‚Â there is uncertainty about the food situation due to floods, lack of fertiliser and other occurrences.
“Considering all that, I humbly ask my President to consider that we have so many pressing priorities that we cannot afford to host the AU summit now. There is still six months to go, the AU can find another country for the summit,” said the Vice-President to hundreds who braved a downpour.
She said her party is determined to bring a difference to peopleÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s lives, claiming she has asked professional women to have a spirit of sharing with others; hence, the projects such as the one in Mchinji where an old womanÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s house was rehabilitated.
But Kaliati said it is surprising that Banda has decided to make the call at a public podium which, the minister said, contradicts her (the VPÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s) claims that she is part of government.
Malawi is scheduled to host the summit in July and the main agenda will be the election of chairperson of the AU Commission after three rounds failed to produce a winner at the last meeting, according to Mutharika.