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Malawi: Cost-cutting president sells off jet that was a symbol of wasteful spending

Malawi's cost-cutting president is selling her predecessor's jet.

Cabinet clerk Ernest Katchetche said Wednesday that the government has identified a buyer for the 14-passenger presidential jet, which was put up for sale. The presidential office says the buyer is a Virgin Islands company.

Malawi President Joyce Banda came to power last year after the death of President Bingu wa Mutharika, who had angered the political opposition as well as Western donors to his impoverished country when he purchased the plane for an estimated $22 million several years previously.

Banda had said the jet was a wasteful expense and that she would never fly in it. She is instituting austerity measures to try to revive the economy of a country that relies on donors for 40 percent of its budget.