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Malawi’s President Lazarus Chakwera suspends foreign trips for himself, cabinet members; reduces allowances amid inflation

“In fact, all cabinet members currently abroad on public-funded trips must return to Malawi with immediate effect,” Mr Chakwera said.

• November 17, 2023
Malawi's president
Malawi’s president, Lazarus Chakwera.

President Lazarus Chakwera has suspended foreign trips for himself and cabinet members as part of measures to minimise the impact of the recent devaluation of the country’s currency by 44 per cent.

“I know that this decision has caused a lot of pain – and I know that all of us now have to make big adjustments in spending so that we can prioritise those areas that are most productive,” Mr Chakwera said during a televised speech on Wednesday.

According to VOA, earlier this month, the Reserve Bank of Malawi announced the devaluation of the country’s currency by 44 per cent to allow the local currency to align with the U.S. dollar on the black market.

Consequently, the prices of almost all commodities, including fuel and electricity, immediately increased by more than 40 per cent, prompting Mr Chakwera to suspend his foreign trips till the end of the fiscal year in March.

Also, public-funded trips for public officers at all levels, including those in parastatals or state-owned enterprises, will be suspended till March. 

He also ordered a reduction in fuel allowances for top government officials, which include ministers, by half.

“In fact, all cabinet members currently abroad on public-funded trips must return to Malawi with immediate effect,” Mr Chakwera said.

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