The president made the remarks when he conducted a ground breaking ceremony for the construction of the John Chilembwe Highway that will connect the commercial city of Blantyre to the academic city of Zomba in the southern region of impoverished Malawi.
“So you want me to meet every Jim and Jack who comes from wherever… at the expense of my job? I am not that cheap and I am not for sale, I am the President,” he said the gathering of ministers, party and government officials, and general public.
The World Bank (WB) sent its Africa Region Director of Poverty Reduction and Economic Management, Marcelo Giugale.
The visiting team said it had a masterplan to help Malawi out of its current financial woes, but woul await to hear from government counterparts on how best they could marry their ideas into the country’s financial strategy.
WB pledged ‘real time’ technical support in monitoring of social and economic impacts and also policy design and implementation besides budget support and convening potential partners.
“I want to make this clear,” said Mutharika, “I will be cooperating with them but let us cooperate not on a wise person and an idiot (basis). No. We are all wise people,” he challenged after putting it in black and white that he will not just accept the programme made by the bank, as he does not do that and has never done that in his life.
“I will study it and find out if this programme is answering our problems,” he said.
Mutharika is on record to have told some donors not interested in assisting Malawi to ‘go to hell’, growing already tense relations with the donor and development partner community.