Cama executive director John Kapito has asked Malawi President Joyce Banda to immediately fire Vice-President Khumbo Kachali following remarks he made in Karonga last week about the presidencyâ€™s travel bill.
While the Vice-Presidentâ€™s office on Monday apologised for the statement, State House argued Kapito should not be taken seriously.
During the opening of a telecentre at Lupaso in the northern Malawi district of Karonga, Kachali was quoted as saying the President and himself would not bow down to demands to cut on travel to save scarce financial resources, arguing the two do not visit individual families or peopleâ€™s mothers.
Kapito argues the advice and request that the countryâ€™s leadership should reduce on unnecessary expenses through local and international travel did not warrant such a rude response from Kachali.
Says Kapito in a statement on Monday: “As a consumer body, we find the [remarks] from Mr. Khumbo Kachali very insulting and we require an immediate apology from him and the presidency, but also request the President, who appointed him to this position, to have him replaced immediately.
The Consumers Association of Malawi (Cama) boss says it is a matter of concern that the VP has challenged Malawians that he would continue travelling as he wishes and Cama has asked the Ministry of Finance to disclose how much the Vice-President is spending on his trips.
“What is shocking, though, is that Malawi is currently in a very pathetic financial situation and we are appealing to the donor community to assist Malawi and at the same time, we have leadership that is extravagant, insensitive like the Vice-President.â€
Press secretary to the President Steven Nhlane said whereas he did not listen to Kachali’s purported statement, he has problems with Kapitoâ€™s call for the President to fire the Vice-President as Kapito is the same person who two weeks ago wanted the President to resign.
Said Nhlane: â€œThe other problem is that the statement is coming from Mr. John Kapito, the man who only two weeks ago asked President Joyce Banda to resign for allegedly failing to solve the countryâ€™s economic problems.
â€œThe question that arises then is can such a person be taken seriously when he makes another outburst?â€
But in a late press release last night, the Vice-President, through Minister of Information Moses Kunkuyu, apologised for his statement.
Reads the apology: â€œThe Right Honourable Khumbo Kachali, Vice-President of the Republic of Malawi, sincerely regrets his recent remarks on travels by the presidency, that he made in Karonga…
â€œThe Vice-President would like to apologise for the pain and distress the remarks have caused to Malawians. The remarks are fully and unconditionally withdrawn.â€