I have reduced my program of public events by 50% — Chakwera


President Lazarus Chakwera who has been accused of draining public resources by conducting crop inspection tours, says he has cut spending by reducing his program of public events by 50% and turning down 95% of invitations to international events over the past six months.

Chakwera said this yesterday following a virtual bilateral discussion with the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Ms. Kristalina Georgieva.

Between March and April, Chakwera travelled to Thyolo, Mangochi, Zomba, Ntcheu, Dedza, Dowa, Nkhotakota, Mzimba, Rumphi, Chitipa and Karonga to inspect crops and livestock in farms.

He also travelled to United States for a six-day trip in March and to Mozambique in April for a four-day trip in which it was alleged he blew K100 million on transport.

Last night, Chakwera in a Facebook post, said his government’s biggest commitment is to tighten public spending and make the most of taxpayers’ money.

He noted that the act of tightening the belts begins with him and his Cabinet.

“This is why for the past six months, I have reduced my program of public events by over 50%, prioritizing those that promote development, economic activity, and agricultural productivity.

“Similarly, I have turned down 95% of the international events I have been invited to attend abroad this year. This is on top of the cost cutting measures I announced across all Ministries six months ago when I unveiled the Socio-Economic Recovery Plan (SERP),” he said.

He added that the goal is to ensure that all people in the country make painful sacrifices that will “ensure that we have seasons of shared growth in the future.”

During the meeting with IMF chief Georgieva, Chakwera said he expressed to her his eagerness to see the IMF Team she is sending to visit Malawi next week make progress on the terms of a potential Extended Credit Facility for Malawi.

He noted that the IMF halted its program for Malawi after his administration exposed the previous administration’s acts of misreporting and toxic borrowing at the Reserve Bank.

“Following that exposure, I committed to fix the broken systems at the Central Bank and restore a culture of transparency, professionalism, legality, and discipline.

“Now that this reform program is yielding results and restoring good faith between us and our development partners, I used my discussion with the IMF Chief today to reiterate my commitment to do even more to ensure that any support we get for our economy’s recovery from exogenous shocks does not go to waste. That commitment involves making some tough decisions to restructure the unsustainable debt and reverse the unsustainable currency manipulation policies of past regimes,” said Chakwera.

Chakwera blows over MK100 million on transport only into Mozambique  

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