LILONGWE—Pres Joyce Banda attempted to set the record straight Friday, saying those broke the law will be held to account.
"We have a nation to run, we must work together, we must forgive each other, no revenge, but we have to look where we [went] wrong," said Banda who on her inauguration as president April 7 said it was time to forge ahead.
"If you handled public resources wrongly definitely you shall be answerable. You must be prepared to be accountable,” she said.
Banda, who spoke to journalists in Lilongwe, said the country was in a coma and needed about K170 billion (US1 billion) to revive it and that it could take as long as 18 months for the economy to recover and start moving again.
The president said her recent trips to Nigeria and South Africa sourced commitments to help Malawi deal with fuel and foreign exchange shortages.
She said as Malawi tries to recover, the government will have to take “not easy, painful steps”.
Global lender International Monetary Fund has recommended 40 percent currency devaluation.
“Malawians should bear with us, as we make those decisions," said Banda.
The president also commented on the presidential jet, saying she will leave it cabinet to make the call.
When the former government of the late president Bingu wa Mutharika bought the plane, Malawi’s main bilateral donor Britain disapproved as it feared that the government used public funds meant for vital services to make the purchase.
But Mutharika had defended the decision to buy the plane, saying it was cheaper to own that lease one each time the president had to travel.
Britain went ahead and reduced some of its aid to Malawi after the incident.
Questions continue to be raised whether the government can afford it. What many find ironic is that the country's airline, Air Malawi, doesn't have money yet the president has a jet.
---©2012 The Maravi Post. Reproduction authorised, with usual acknowledgment