BLANTYRE—Malawi tax payers continue to cough millions of kwacha for former president Bakili Muluzi’s medical costs.
There have been concerns that Muluzi, whose illness was a subject of contentious debate between the administration of the late Bingu wa Mutharika and his doctors, is exploiting medical condition of slipped discs in his back to run away from answering charges of having corruptly received funds meant for government.
A Malawi Treasury official confided in The Maravi Post that at least K63 million has been paid to Muluzi as allowances since August this year, adding that his latest trip was approved last week by Pres Joyce Banda although the circumstances looked strange as he is set to appear before the High Court next week.
“Dr. Muluzi’s first trip to Cape Town cost around K25 million in August and that includes allowances and other payments including that of his staff. This week another K37 million has been approved, he is expected to stay for two weeks,” the Treasury official said.
Muluzi’s local doctor, Nga Ntafu, who is also treasurer general and presidential aspirant for the former ruling United Democratic Front, couldn’t comment on the costs and when his patient is supposed to travel to South Africa although airport officials indicate that he might be leaving Malawi on Monday or Tuesday.
Anti-Corruption Bureau officials indicated that Muluzi’s case is supposed to come before hearing any day this week but they haven’t yet received anything indicating that he wants to travel for medical treatment.
“Every time the case is supposed to [start], Dr. Muluzi gets sick, perhaps Government should review its generosity that the case can speed up. As of now we are still in a political circus, either the case will never be heard at all, or tax payers will continue to lose money,” said the ACB official.
Malawians through social media debated Muluzi’s condition after he stayed months without travelling for medication after he returned in April to be with his son Atupele after he was arrested by the Bingu administration.
(c) The Maravi Post 2012. Reproduction without acknowledgement prohibited