Thursday, May 23, 2013

Malawi’s President Sells Presidential Jet For $15 Million To Aid Her Country

Cash-strapped Malawi has found a buyer for the luxury jet that had once belonged to late leader Bingu wa Mutharika.

A government official said on Wednesday that the presidential jet has been sold for $15 million, raising much need funds for the impoverished African nation.

Mutharika bought the jet in 2009 for $22 million, a purchase that was widely criticized as a waste by many, including Malawi’s main bilateral donor Britain.

The country reduced its aid to the African nation by 3 million pounds because of it.

Current leader of Malawi, President Joyce Banda, who took office in April 2012 after Mutharika died of a heart attack, was lauded when she made the decision to put the luxury jet up for sale.

Principal secretary to the president’s office, Chintu Phiri, told Reuters that the 14-passenger Dassault Falcon 900 EX aircraft was sold to Virgin Islands company Bohnox Enterprise Ltd, who outbid three other buyers.

“We have accepted their offer and we are waiting to hear from them,” Phiri said.

The plane reportedly cost Malawi about $300,000 a year in maintenance and insurance, Reuters reported.

It is one of the cost-cutting measures Banda has employed as she seeks to bring Malawi back from the brink of total economic ruin.

She took a 30 percent pay cut to her earnings as president and put 35 luxury Mercedez Benz cars used by her cabinet up for sale

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