Malawian president cancels foreign trips for himself, cabinet members amid economic crisis

Adebari Oguntoye
Adebari Oguntoye
Lazarus Chakwera

Lazarus Chakwera, the president of Malawi, has cancelled all international trips for himself and other public officials in the country.

A statement by the Malawian government on Wednesday said the cancellation of the international trips is for the remainder of the 2023/24 financial year.

Chakwera ordered all cabinet members on public-funded international trips to return to the country.

The Malawian president also directed a 50 percent reduction in the fuel allowances of ministers, permanent secretaries, directors, and all senior officials.

He added that the era of spending taxpayers’ money on “useless activities in the form of allowances” should be put to an end.

Chakwera directed the minister of finance to review how small and medium-scale businesses can be protected and plan towards reasonable wage increases for civil servants.

“All cabinet members currently abroad on public-funded international trips must return to Malawi with immediate effect,” the president said.

Chakwera also announced that he has ordered the secretary to the president and cabinet to ensure the recent hiking of the price of water is absorbed by the operating cost of those boards for now, and not placed on Malawians.

The measures came after the International Monetary Fund (IMF) approved a $174 million credit facility for Malawi on Wednesday.

On November 8, the Reserve Bank of Malawi, the country’s central bank, devalued its currency — Kwacha — by 44 percent.

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