• Sat. Aug 12th, 2023

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Chakwera gets tough on cabinet external travel

Aug 12, 2023

By Cedric Nkungula

In a move that is aimed at easing pressure on foreign exchange reserves, the President Dr. Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera administration has restricted external travel for cabinet ministers and other senior government officials effective August 15, 2023.

According to communication from Secretary to the Treasury signed by MacDonald Mafuta Mwale dated 7th August 2023 addressed to secretary to the president and cabinet, all controlling officers in government ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) as well as chief executive officers of government enterprises and parastatals, the decision has been arrived at because the country is currently facing harsh economic conditions.

“Malawi is currently facing harsh economic conditions with inflation rising to 27.0 percent for June 2023 and experiencing an acute scarcity of foreign exchange pressure on the exchange rate,” reads part of the statement.

“One way through which we can control the drain on foreign exchange reserves, foreign travel by government MDAs as well as State Owned Enterprises(SOEs), must be restricted.”

Mwale explained that external travel beginning at cabinet level should be restricted to extremely essential trips approved by the president upon the provision of proof of funding and availability of resources from the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs.

He added that all principal secretaries and directors from government MDAs, Chief Executive Officers (CEOs), director generals and all senior management of SOEs should seek approval for any external travel from the secretary to the president and cabinet on condition that the secretary to the treasury provides proof of funding and availability of resources.

Says the statement, “Controlling officers shall approve external travel only after consulting treasury on availability of resources, proof of funding and budget allocation. The number and composition of a delegation travelling outside the country shall be approved by secretary to the president and cabinet. Where external travel is donor – funded, there shall be no government financial outlay in the form of top – up allowances towards such travel.”

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