Malawi President and ministers’ benefits to be reviewed


President Lazarus Chakwera has announced that his administration will this year review benefits and entitlements of president, vice president, cabinet ministers and other senior government officials in a bid to cut Malawi Government expenditure.

Chakwera, who recently appointed a 30-member cabinet and has about ten advisors, said today when opening the budget meeting in Parliament that the review is aimed at ensuring that public resources are utilized effectively.

The president also announced a reduction in procurement of motor vehicles in terms of numbers, type and sizes; a requirement for Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to seek Treasury approval before effecting new recruitments; and a requirement for all Government institutions, without exception, to install and use pre-paid meters for utilities.

He further said that his government will fast-track the digitalization drive to reduce paperwork and fraud and will start procuring security equipment and fertilizer directly from manufacturers instead of middlemen to cut landing costs.

According to Chakwera, government will also recruit competent graduates in accounting to fix perennial delays caused by people managing Integrated Financial Management Information System (IFMIS).

The system is usually blamed for delays in payments to contractors undertaking projects and delays in payment of salaries.

In the speech today, Chakwera noted that, in implementing its 2021/22 National Budget, government incurred a widening primary budget deficit, which was financed by domestic borrowing and this resulted in rising public debt.

He, however, added that the primary budget deficit incurred during the Financial Year ending 31 March 2022 is projected to be 7.3 percent of GDP which is lower than the 8.8 percent incurred in the 2020/21 Financial Year.

“Though the decline is moderate, it does signal my Administration’s intentions to reduce the rate of borrowing and effect stringent measures to control public spending,” said Chakwera.