Why Malawi’s President Suspended Foreign Flights For Government Officials

Malawian President Lazarus Chakwera outlined a slew of measures aimed at alleviating the country’s economic woes on Wednesday.

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All public officials’ international travel has been halted as part of the restrictions.

The decision is considered as a direct result of the Reserve Bank of Malawi’s considerable devaluation of the Malawian kwacha on November 10, which worsened the state of an already ailing economy.

He added that “all Cabinet members currently abroad on public-funded trips must return to Malawi with immediate effect.”

Only travel deemed absolutely necessary will be permitted from now on, pending personal authorization from the presidency.

With immediate effect, fuel entitlements for cabinet ministers, principal secretaries, directors, and all members of senior management of state institutions were cut in half.

A set of criteria for local training and travel, as well as a cap on how much of their budgets can be spent on such allowances and excursions, will be distributed to all public institutions.

The president has also directed the Finance and Economic Affairs Minister to review the Pay As You Earn income tax and “incorporate a reduced percentage in the new budget he presents to Parliament in a few months so that workers whose incomes have lost value due to the devaluation are helped with a lower tax burden.”

This is accompanied by “a reasonable wage increase for civil servants.”

Following the devaluation, the Malawi Energy Regulatory Authority announced a rise in fuel and energy rates last week in a statement.

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