President Lazarus Chakwera has suspended all his international trips until march as part of cost-cutting measures following the devaluation of the Malawi Kwacha.
Speaking during his national address on Wednesday night, Chakwera defended the devaluation saying the previous rate was not presenting the real value of the Kwacha. He noted that the devaluation is painful and people in the country need to make adjustments in spending hence he is setting an example by cutting trips.
The suspension of foreign trips also extends to all cabinet ministers, heads of statutory bodies and senior government officials.
“In fact, all cabinet ministers who are abroad on trips funded by taxpayers should return to Malawi with immediate effect,” said Chakwera.
The Malawi leader has also reduced fuel allocations to all government officials by 50% to save money.
The announcement came as his government is trying to recover from economic challenges after approval of the US$174 million Extended Credit Facility (ECF) by International Monetary Fund (IMF) on 15th November, 2023.
On economic hurdles people are facing, Chakwera assured Malawians that things will improve within 4 months.
He said his government will use money reserved from the measures to procure maize and fertilizer for Malawians.
He has also directed Minister of Finance to consider increasing salaries for civil servants and reduce Pay as You Earn (PAYE) tax to cushion them from effects of devaluation.