Reducing both domestic and external trips by Malawi Government officials is an austerity measure that has been cited times without number as imperative in these difficult economic times.
But it is disturbing to hear that a single presidential trip, that is partly funded by the host, Equatorial Guinea, cost the taxpayer about $92 000.
We shudder to imagine what would have been the cost had the host not sent a jet to pick our President and paid for her accommodation and internal travel on a trip whose benefit to the country is remote.
We are compelled to agree with the economic governance watchdog, Mejn, in questioning such expenditure in the middle of an economic crisis. Delegating such trips to a relevant Cabinet minister could save the country money that could be used to buy essential drugs.
Coming at a time when the country witnessed children in unprecedented protests in some cities because their struggling teachers had downed tools, such Executive extravagance is very insensitive.
In the spirit of austerity, we dare say, presidential trips, regardless of their justification, are costly and must be reduced at all cost.