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Malawi’s president suspends foreign trips for himself and cabinet

Author: Chany Ninrew | Published: Friday, November 17, 2023

Lazarus Chakwera, President of Zimbabwe. (Courtesy).

Malawi’s president, Lazarus Chakwera has suspended all foreign travels for himself and his cabinet officials with immediate effect, in order to save money.

“Any travel deemed absolutely necessary by anyone during that period must be submitted to my office for my personal authorisation,” Chakwera said in a televised address on Wednesday, hinting it was part of tough measures to heal the nation’s economy.

Malawi remains one of the poorest countries in the world despite making significant economic and structural reforms to sustain economic growth.

The economy is heavily dependent on agriculture, which employs over 80% of the population, and it is vulnerable to external shocks, particularly climatic shocks.

According to Al Jazeera news, Chakwera also directed all ministers who are currently outside the country to return home and said the suspension will be in place until March next year.

The president reportedly unveiled a range of austerity measures, including cutting by 50 percent fuel entitlements for cabinet ministers and senior government officials.

Chakwera, who previously faced criticism over his frequent foreign travel, according to local media, said he would lead by example by curtailing his travel plans, including cancelling his attendance at the COP28 climate change conference in Dubai in late November.

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