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For permanent ‘First Lady’ trust

Like those before her, First Lady Gertrude Hendrina Mutharika has come up with her own trust, the ‘Beautify Malawi Trust’.

I have seen her concept paper; the lady from Khwisa has come up with something really exciting and creative. Congratulations, Madame!

Indeed, our streets are littered with filth; we throw away things anyhow. It is high time we organised ourselves and agreed where our dumping cites should be.

In fact my congratulatory message to my good friend Noel, the world’s shortest mayor, contained an epistle for him to teach us how to dispose of our waste. 

So aNgoni Gertrude Hendrina has a ready fan in the Muckraker for her ‘Beautify Malawi’ project.

But I would like to suggest that it is high time we devised a permanent ‘First Lady’ trust. Look, Patricia Shanil Muluzi had her wonderful foundation. Then came the ‘Ethel Mutharika’ foundation which did some wonders.

When she sadly succumbed to cancer, Callista came up with her own ‘Callista Mutharika Foundation’.

Now we have the ‘Beam’ – Gertrude Mutharika Beautify Malawi Trust.

All these ladies mean well and have raised money for good causes.

But it seems once their husbands’ tenure of office expires in State House, so does the first ladies’ charities.

These charities raise millions that disappear once the patrons (why are they not called ‘matrons’?) leave State House. Patricia Shanil left State House with her foundation’s millions, so did Ethel and Callista after her.

Will it not make sense if we had a permanent ‘First Lady’ fund in place and have individual first ladies – and first gentlemen, by the way – choose their areas of passion? They can pursue their areas of interest and hand over the fund when their husbands – or wives – leave State House via election, retirement or death.

Look, these foundations attract millions that are not audited when the patrons leave office.

I am not suggesting that the patrons play monopoly with these funds after they leave State House but let us think about these things.

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