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HomePoliticsMalawi President Bans Foreign Trips For Self And Cabinet Amidst Economic Woes

Malawi President Bans Foreign Trips For Self And Cabinet Amidst Economic Woes

To cut costs, Malawi’s President Lazarus Chakwera has implemented an immediate suspension of all international travel for himself and public officials in the country.

Malawi’s economy is grappling with challenges such as a shortage of petrol and diesel, coupled with high inflation.

The President announced that these measures would be in effect until the end of the financial year in March 2024.

To cut costs, Malawi’s President Lazarus Chakwera has implemented an immediate suspension of all international travel for himself and public officials in the country.

This decision comes in the wake of the devaluation of the country’s currency, as Malawi secures a loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to address economic challenges.

Malawi’s President Lazarus Chakwera has instructed all ministers currently abroad to return home.

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He also ordered a 50% reduction in fuel allowances for ministers, principal secretaries, directors, and senior officers adding that the practice of spending taxpayers’ money on useless activities in the form of allowances should be put to an end.

Malawi’s economy is grappling with challenges such as a shortage of petrol and diesel, coupled with high inflation.

In a nationwide broadcast on Wednesday night, the President announced that these measures would be in effect until the end of the financial year in March 2024.

Amid backlash received over his frequent foreign travel, the President said he would lead by example by curtailing his travel plans, including cancelling his attendance at the COP28 climate change conference in Dubai later this month.

The Malawi leader stated that the budget cuts, including the reduction in fuel allowances, will be redirected towards procuring food and fertilizer to ensure food security in the country.

Similar austerity measures were introduced last year. He opted out of attending the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Kigali, Rwanda, and the OPEC Fund Development Forum in Vienna, Austria which reportedly saved Malawi a total of $261,000 (£216,000).

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has approved a four-year credit facility totalling $174 million (£140 million), coming shortly after Malawi’s central bank declared a 44% devaluation of the kwacha.

Analysts speculate that the devaluation might have been a prerequisite for securing the IMF credit facility.

There are concerns that the currency devaluation could lead to increased prices, exacerbating financial difficulties for Malawians, similar to what occurred a decade ago.

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