The national flag, a symbol of unity among Malawians, was on Thursday overshadowed by Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) flags at a rally President Peter Mutharika addressed at Luwerezi in Mzimba.
The rally which Mutharika addressed as part of his first engagement at a start of his tour of the Northern Region had one state flag near the podium against close to 10 of the DPP that were erected at the venue.
A physical count by The Daily Times showed that the ruling party erected close to 12 party flags from Phazi turnoff all the way to Luwerezi Community Day Secondary School (CDSS) where Mutharika held the rally.
Senior officials at Public Events, a department charged with the responsibility to arrange Mutharika’s functions, have confided in The Daily Times that the country has run out of flags for such events.
Our source justified our observation disclosing that the national flags have been in short supply beginning from the rally Mutharika held in his home district, Thyolo, when he inspected progress on the construction of the Thyolo –Muona Road last week.
“Government has placed orders to procure 170 flags for events like these. Each of the country’s cities will be allocated 50 flags while the Eastern Region will be given 20,” the source said.
But Information Minister, Patricia Kaliati, said there were more DPP flags than the national one because the rally was supposed to be a party function.
But queried on the use of state resources on a party function, Kaliati contradicted herself by saying party and state functions cannot be separated since Mutharika took the presidency on a party ticket.
“Get me clearly, government cannot run out of flags. It is the state flags that symbolise the presence of a Head of State and that is why you see the flag on front of the podium,” Kaliati said.
At the rally, Mutharika reiterated what he termed as his government’s success story in the fight against corruption in the country.
He disclosed that apart from the 15 convicts on Cashgate-related charges, government still has another 75 cases to take to court.
Mutharika also bemoaned continuous plumber of Chikangawa forest, observing that it is such trends that are aggravating climate change.
“We would like communities to take ownership of the forest and make sure it is cased for all the time,” said Mutharika.
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