President Peter Mutharika has left for the United Nations General Assembly (Unga) in New York with his size of entourage kept under wraps.
Mutharika left Thursday through Kamuzu International Airport (Kia) on a private jet.
According to reports last year, Mutharika’s entourage to the UN assembly comprised over 100 people and the development attracted criticism from various quarters.
But when asked on Monday, Minister of Foreign Affairs Francis Kasaila was tight-lipped to disclose this year’s number of delegates and only said the entourage has been controlled.
He argued that his Ministry has issued an instruction to the American Embassy and all government Ministries to consult his Ministry before processing any document in regards to the meeting, as measures to control the situation.
“From last year, as government, we learnt a lot. This year, we have instructed the US Embassy not to issue any Visa to a Malawian who would want to travel for the purposes of the General Assembly without the authority of the ministry.
“Secondly, all ministers have been instructed not to authorise travel of their public officers without the authority of the President,” he said.
While addressing the gathering at Kia, Mutharika did not talk about his delegation but only described the meeting as important to the nation as it will be focusing on the Sustainable Development Goals that were adopted a year ago.
“We will be looking at, after one year of adopting the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals, the achievements that have been made and a number of issues such as Aids, youth and women empowerment, trade and investment among others,” he said.
This will be 71st session of the Unga which will be conducted under the theme: Sustainable Development Goals, Universal Push to Transform the world.