It shows poor insight in governance to ask for support in feeding the nation and immediately afterwards flying off to New York with a reservation for the lavish Waldorf Astoria Hotel, which has been the symbol of conspicuous consumption since before Malawian independence. It shows the leader does not care about the population and it shows that the leader is not serious about donor independence, a target he set himself in five years.

Another bone of contention here is the secrecy surrounding the UN trip. IN a democracy, the electorate, which is also the tax payer, has a right to know. The right to know how their tax money is being used, and a right to know how they are being governed. This means the state should simply publish a list of every member of the 111 member delegation to the UN, and a description of their responsibilities and the tasks to be completed in New York, as well as a description of the funding agency for that particular member. This way we do not need to be kept in the dark, and the government can easily prove its claim that many are sponsored by other organizations and that the 111 people are all there to support the national interest.

Look at this from Nigeria:

A more fundamental worry: it seems that this type of luxury trip is being used to reward political support, or to buy the same. This has been a tried and tested method to rule in Malawi. Our system is rotten to the core, it shows. Power is not gotten because of merit and performance but by buying support at the tax payers cost, which is not what tax is supposed to be used for. This way the different members of the ruling class are enriching each other at the expense of the population and at the expense of development. We need to look behind the persons, and improve the whole system of governance.


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