President Dr. Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera has vowed to serve Malawians and is prepared to do things that are painful as long as they are the right things citing the recent devaluation of the Malawi Kwacha by 44 percent as the most painful.
President Chakwera said the devaluation of the Kwacha by 44 percent was made to correct the false value of the Kwacha based on nothing and rebuild true value in the Kwacha based on production of exports.
He said he know that this decision has caused a lot of pain, and all Malawians have to make big adjustments in spending so that they prioritize those areas that are most productive and stay the course until the economy becomes productive and profitable again.
Speaking in his National Address at Kamuzu Palace in Lilongwe on Wednesday evening, President Chakwera has led by example by cancelling all of his international trips between now and the end of the Fiscal Year, beginning with his trip to COP 28 at the end of this November, 2023.
Chakwera said he has freezed all public-funded international trips for all public officers at all levels, including those in parastatals until the end of the Financial Year in March, 2024 while cabinet members currently abroad on public-funded trips ordered to return to Malawi with immediate effect.
In his speech, President Chakwera has ordered cabinet Ministers, Principal Secretaries, Directors and all members of Senior Management of public institutions should have their fuel entitlements cut in half with immediate effect.
President Chakwera said until further notice, he has ordered the Secretary to the President and Cabinet (SPC) Coleen Zamba to circulate to all public institutions a criterion for local trainings and local travel that will be acceptable, and how much of their budgets can be spent on allowances for such trainings and trips.
Dr. Chakwera has directed the Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs to include provisions in the mid-year budget review for cushioning Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs)to protect their jobs and tasking the Minister of Finance and
Trade to work together with the Competition and Fair -Trading Commission to investigate all price increases.
“The savings the country will make from these and other spending cuts will go towards the procurement of food and fertilizer to ensure that no Malawian family in any district is left without food in the next four months while people are planting their fields,” he said.
President Chakwera has finally warned all those who are in position of leadership and who know that they are responsible for creating the mess the country is in, that he will deal with them soon enough.