Government has suspended the recruitment of new workers and promotion of current civil servants as part of measures aimed at cutting expenditure.
The measures which will take effect immediately have also hit cabinet ministers, top civil servants and drivers.
According to a circular dated March 23 and signed by Chief Secretary to the Government Lloyd Muhara, government has frozen recruitment of staff except for special services. Promotions will also only be allowed in special circumstances.
Muhara says in the circular that only the Speaker, the Chief Justice and the Chief Secretary will be allowed to travel business class.
“Principal Secretaries, Chief Directors and Chief Executives of major statutory corporations will not be permitted to travel in business class for flights that are less than three hours flying time. Only where the flying time exceeds three hours, will Principal Secretaries, Chief Directors and Chief Executives of major statutory corporations that can afford, be allowed to travel business class with the specific of the Chief Secretary in each case,” says the circular.
In other expenditure control measures, government has ordered a reduction of government funded short term training and a cut in fuel allowances by 10 percent across the board.
In the circular, Muhara has also announced fleet management procedures aimed at reducing expenditure on fuel and vehicle maintenance.
The procedures include weekly fuel limits for various vehicles, scrutinising of log books by controlling officers and restrictions on movement of government vehicles during weekends and outside working hours.
Muhara has warned drivers and officers that they will face disciplinary action if found abusing vehicles.
He has also advised controlling officers to adhere to the control measures.
Government is currently facing financial challenges and Minister of Finance Goodall Gondwe in February was forced to cut the 2017/18 national budget by K9.3 billion.