President Dr Lazarus Chakwera has with immediate effect cancelled all his international trips for the remainder of the 2023/24 financial year, leading by example in making painful adjustments in view of the current economic status.
In his address to the nation, Dr Chakwera said he has also put a freeze on all international trips funded by public coffers for public officers at all levels.
“All cabinet members currently abroad on public-funded international trips must return to Malawi with immediate effect,” he emphasized.
Dr Chakwera also directed that fuel allocation for Ministers, Principal Secretaries, Directors and all senior officers who are entitled, should be cut by half.
The President also said the practice of spending taxpayers’ money on useless activities in the form of allowances should be put to an end.
The Malawi leader said all the spending cuts will be channelled towards procurement of food and fertilizer to ensure the country has enough food.
He has also directed the Minister of Finance to include in the upcoming mid-year budget review provisions for cushioning Small to Medium Enterprises to protect the jobs they create, provisions for a reasonable wage increase for civil servants and review Pay as You Earn tax to remove tax burden from civil servants.
President Chakwera has also ordered Ministers of Finance and Trade to work with the Competition and Fair-Trading Commission to investigate price increases and hold into account all those involved in raising prices in violation of the law.
Dr 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.