Chilima Having ‘Closed Meetings’ at Mount Soche While Nation Suffers
By: Feston Konzani
While the country is still reeling with a lot of problems including drug shortages in the hospitals and other economic woes, the Vice President thought it wise to spend taxpayer money on luxury meetings at Mount Soche.
When The Malawi Star journalist went to find out what the meeting was all about, he was told by the VP’s intense security personnel that no press was allowed to cover the event.
“We have not invited any Press or reporters to this meeting, who told you to come here? It’s a closed meeting and no Press or reporters are allowed. I am wondering how you got here.” Said one of the VP’s security personnel to The Malawi Star reporter.
Some Blantyre-based concerned citizens interviewed by this publication had a very different opinion, declaring these luxurious meetings as “very insensitive and unpatriotic.”
“Having a three day ‘closed meeting’ at Mount Soche is not a wise decision to spend taxpayers’ money during a period that economically, our country is going through. The VP has offices where these meetings can take place and he also has a luxury resident paid by our tax money where they can conduct these so-called meetings, but why Mount Soche?” declared one local business owner.
Said another local mother, “My son went to a public hospital two days ago and was diagnosed with Malaria but when we got to the Pharmacy, we were told that that there was no medication for Malaria. I was told to go to a private pharmacy to buy the medication yet our vice president is indeed spending that much for a closed meeting at Mount Soche? What are they discussing over there?”
“I have to find the money to buy the medication for my child when these people are living in luxury and hiring entire floors at Mount Soche just to hold ‘Secret closed’ meetings?”
“What is the government there for? To continue the politicians’ luxurious lifestyles or to serve us? Something is not right and I think as Malawians we are not considered by our government.” Said a 34- year old Mbayani resident.
Mercy Chingota echoed the same sentiment by saying that politicians should remember why they were elected for the positions that they now hold.
“They live in luxury paid for by me yet I, as a single parent as I am, have to try to get it all together to support my family? Hiring an entire floor at Mount Soche for three days by the Vice President is truly a sign of disrespect to the suffering Malawians.”
“Worse still, what were discussing over there? Was it a personal business or something that I can expect to benefit from? I pay my taxes and I have the right to know what I am paying for. I cannot be paying for his luxurious dining and wining at Mount Soche when I am unable to support my own family.” Said Mercy.
Kamlepo Kalua of the former ruling Peoples’ Party (PP) concurred with the sentiment and called the VP’s actions as totally criminal, citing that there are offices allocated to Chilima where those meetings can take place and not Mount Soche Hotel.
Meanwhile, it is yet to be known what the three-day ‘closed meetings’ were all about, but what is clear is that the needless public expenditure of public resources by our politicians is still rampant.
Clearly, these meetings were not intended to be revealed to the Press, as this reporter was ordered to leave the grounds of Mount Soche immediately.