Malawi ‘bankrupt economy’: Mutharika restricts ministers’ travel

Malawi President Peter Mutharika has restricted domestic travel by cabinet ministers and senior government officials to eight trips per month, they will not be allowed more than six foreign trips a year as  a cost-cutting measure to support the zero-aid  budget.

President Mutharika and Finance Minister Goodall Gondwe: Austerity steps

President Mutharika and Finance Minister Goodall Gondwe: Austerity steps

Foreign trips will be granted approvals only when the state stands to gain genuinely from such tours.

Finance Minister Goodall Gondwe earlier said the restrictions have been done in the austerity measures  with no budgetary support from donors including Britain, who suspended aid following massive corruption scandal known as the ‘cashgate’.

Government spokesman and Information Minister, Kondwani Nankhuwa told Voice of America (VOA) on Friday that the goal is to save public funds strained by prevailing economic challenges.

“After examining [our] economic situation, [President Mutharika] has directed cabinet ministers [to] reduce their international travel to three to six times per year, and 8 [domestic] trips in a year,” said Nankhumwa.

He said the Mutharika government inherited “bankrupt” economy when they took over power last May.

“As of now, we are trying as a government as much as possible to come back to normal through locally available means,” he said.

Nankhumwa blames the infamous “Cashgate”  scandal which forced donors, the bilateral partners to  suspend their  support to the impoverished southern African nation.

“This effectively means that we [are governing] without money…And that is the genesis of our problem,” Nankhumwa told VOA.

Nankhumwa said the administration will ensure those involved in the scandal are prosecuted under the full extent of the law, saying the government has demonstrated political will to weed out graft.

“Since we came into government we have now been able to successfully prosecute about six cases, of which government has won all the cases, and the journey continues.

“We are working tirelessly so that we reach a point to say that we are satisfied. At this point no money can be siphoned out. It’s a system which ended up being corrupt because of the mindset of some individuals within government circles,” he added.

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43 thoughts on “Malawi ‘bankrupt economy’: Mutharika restricts ministers’ travel”

  1. Wayne Kazima says:

    As part of their job, if necessary let them travel even 100 tines a year. Just cut on allowances. Restricting travel is as saying don’t do your job. Don’t pay allowances on travel as its part of their job description .

  2. mjegge says:

    Mwabwela boo

  3. Bob says:

    Akadati munthu amamwalira ndikunenedwa aNankhumwa mukdkhala malemu. Just stitch your mouth. Kkkkkkkk

  4. MCP GVT says:

    Mmmm… Inheritance yes. Bingu inherited bankrupcy frm ache Mpando , JB inherited bankrupcy from Moya, & APM has taken it over frm JB. So do u mean there r times when innocent Malawians stopd paying tax that this bankrupcy shld erupse? SORR TO SAY THIS: U R ALL THIEVES! INFACT U R BUGLARS… How do u cut trips while gvng yoself 168% salary rise while a teacher is crying 4 60%? Shame… Amalawi tirimbe nazo. Mpake ma floods ativuta, anthu ankhanza mukulamulira and Mulungu wakwiya.

  5. B Njiwa says:

    This is just a joke,this government is a trash civil servants have just recieved their salaries yesterday on 12 feb. Is that improvement? I think this ship is sinking

  6. emmanuel kamwana says:

    nsonga chiswe ndiwe wakale ma spell ako ngati ma bible omwe analembedwa kale chichewa chake cha kale sizikumveka ukuti chiyani

  7. Though it can blike dat it’ll won’t bsolucitizd

  8. I don’t feel this initiative will help much. If government is complaining so what about that villager. Government try this one….. put much efforts in national investments that will be much more productive. We need to be a Malawi of production not a Consumer. The President himself must stop moving up and down and reduce his enterage team and reduce fuel cost and all other useless costs from all government sectors… you will see economy improving.

  9. Tonde says:

    these measures should be extended to all gvt officials including parliament. Alot of money is wasted at parliament on useless trips, committee meetings etc, these trips we do not even see any improvements in the service delivery. Bravo APM you are living by example with ur veep but the rest behave like tourists. Also think about procurement of cars in gvt. Sell most of the cars. Give loans to Directors to buy cars this will also save ou1 money. Introduce city buses to capital hill. Transfer some PSs, directors akhalitsa. Revamp the Human resources dpt, revamp treasury, revamp rbm, make embassies the centre for trade and tourism attraction centres.

    1. Iwetu they should have included you on the civil service reform commission. Not that mmwenye Savjani

  10. ujeni says:

    Six foreign trips is just too much. How do you put a cap on foreign trips. Even those who dont need to go will do so until they reach the target of six

    1. Wodala says:

      Please Ujeni. Improve your understanding. Paragraph 2 of the article addresses your concern. What is wrong with you? Read the story again and again before you comment.

  11. Achimidzimidzi says:

    If any donors come back with their budget support before all cases of corruption and governance are concluded, then I will think that they were not serious.

  12. nsonga ciswe says:

    Koma NDE zocedwatunot only ma ministers nanga muja mmayendera nthawi yapitayi koma ma hung red operekexa .enabkumacita kukhala ngati ngati nkhuku yofunakuikila APA capita kukalumikiza kupita kwina komaso kwinaso.kugona Emma exclusive hotel ngati business trip koma shopping kukamanaso ndi zibwezi nkumagula katundu duty free. Koma wins akangobwera ndi comet era ndevu koma kumuzungiitsa akipile duty, we know people who HV been so cuning with their heads up kuti koma NDE tikuva kukoma.koma manyumba magalimoto ma bizimezi mmpwece.
    NDE mutinji pot I nkhaniyi tinaiva kale and u r just duplicating. Bastard

  13. Vyapasi says:

    I like Special Advisor because s/he is realistic but unfortunately politicians (APM, GG & SC) may not listen to all that advice (wakhala pamkhate). GG recently told parliament and the entire nation about “Currency Swap” which is a very good word but I do not think the masses understood the whole truth simply because of the jargon used. So let me put it this way for the benefit of all MALAWIANS mainly the majority of the rural masses indirectly. Currency Swap is in my home village, Usisya, Nkhata Bay called “Pinyolo”. The practice is quite common during gambling (Juga). Interestingly there is hidden cost to “Pinyolo” and in most cases the cost can be huge in the long term and addictive. That is what Gondwe failed to tell the nation.
    “Pinyolo” is time bound but also is very much dependent on whether the instigator is able to find adequate resources to redeem the product held for ransom within the agreed period beyond which the one holding the product is free is sell it off to recover the agreed sums of money. NOTHING IS FOR FREE in this world.
    So unless Gondwe tells the nation the specifics of the current “Currency Swap” between PTA and Malawi. When will Malawi redeem the currency and what happens when Malawi fails to redeem that currency within the agreed period? This is important now that we are talking of devastating floods and potentially a failed crop of whatever type because even the fertilizers that people applied have been leached.

  14. Nankhumwa don’t talk as if u are lecturing ur kids on cashgate. We know that u didn’t inherit a bankrupt govt. We know that its DPP which is making us suffer becoz of K92 billion which siphoned during Bingus reign. We know that its more than K92 billion becoz only 10 ministries were audited but 2w2 were not there4 the money u siphoned is more than we know. Pple who are being convicted are those who Joyce instituted the inquiry. If u are serious with cashgate u’ve have to insrtitute inquiry into K92w billion and Bingu,s worthy. Don’t talk about cashgate as DPP is the main culpit.

  15. Happy Eduardo says:

    Special advisor-you are very objective. That is the way to go. You give constructive advice osati zachipongwe zinazi.

  16. titototi says:

    Matama a sokonombwe pano yayi!!kkkkkk If you ran financial matters of ur house successfuly dont think the same can work with govt!! “Running a Govt is serious business” kkkkkk

  17. chindere says:

    ANANKHUMWA CHILOMWE CHIKUKUPWETEKETSANI.INU MUFUNA MUNAME APA KUTI AT PRESENT NO MONEY IS BEING SYPHONED.HEEE…INU TIKUWONA ANTHU AKUBABE MU BOMA KUNGOTI SAKUBA KU ACCOUNT NO.1 KOMA KUMENE INU CHIDWI CHANU KULIBE.MUNYA MUONA KUBA SIKUTHA MU BOMAMO.

  18. yuona says:

    Only if separation of powers between the ruling party and government avails, then the much talked about fiscal discipline will work.

    1. 27 says:

      It is impossible to separate powers between party and governnent because the government is formed out the party and the party cannot truthfully check itself. It is the job of the opposition in the legislative to check the government thoroughly and make sure every penny in accounted for. The president gives orders to cabinet and cabinet give orders to the P.S and the PS goes to directors, managers etc, even decisions that are meant to be technocratic are in some way politically influenced.

  19. Sacks Chilli says:

    From Mr Nakhumwa’s talk you would think that PP Government took over a government that had plenty of money in its coffers when Bingu died, and that money disappeared during PP Government’s tenure! What cheap talk!

  20. frank says:

    Anakhumwa bwanji mukukamba nkhani imozi? Madonors akufuna nkhani zonse za cashgate zithe, tawona zosatila za mk20 billion kwacha cashgate ya nthawi ya mai joice banda yasala ndi mk92 billion yanthawi bingu wamuthalika, inu aboma ngati mukufuna madonors kuti abwelere kuthandiza boma muyenela mufufunze mk92 billion inapita kuti.

  21. Taweni says:

    And they were taking salaries at the end of every month from a bankrupt economy. This sounds hypocritical.

    Citizen

  22. WINB says:

    chitengereni boma APM palibe chanzeru ndachiona….mastrike mbweee, kulandra masalary mochedwa…….eishhhhh
    mavuto ngosayamba dats y why wev bin hit hard by floods….kutilanga chifukwa chosamva!!!

  23. tsamba says:

    Ndiakona anamatetulewa ndimangodziwa kuti pali Boma apa. Nthawi ya amayi ija umaona kuti iyi ndiye caretaker Government. I mean you could feel it kuti palibe boma. Koma akamuna awa ai ndithu akundimvetsa kukoma

    1. Ukutanthauza akuba ndikupha tikudikila lawo lachiweluzo lifikewa? Dikilani muwone mulungu akatulutsa zonse pa mbalambanda mulire nazo

    2. Dr Moyo says:

      Iweyo and all those who have liked your sleepy comment , fuck you

  24. lilian says:

    This issue of cashgate is just scape goat.The money in question ie 23 billion was written off after the 2013/14 budget and cannot be a subject as cause of lack of funds in the 2014/15 fiscal year.in other words its effect was in the 2013/14 fiscal year.tikuonesa umbuli if we stick to it

  25. Dr Phiri says:

    Kondwani Nankhumwa usabdiyankhulise pambali. We are tired with mediocrity and propagandaism every single moment you open your stinking mouth. This country was in total collapse thanks to passing on of Ngwazi Prof Bingu wa Mutharika, CT (Chief Thief). Truth be told JB tried to clear tudzi you a DPP left. Inuyo a DPP you have no moral ground tto stand and point fingers at PP government coz nonse ndinu serial thieves , MK 92 Billion ija bwanji osayifotokoza? Mesa ma donors stopped assisting Malawi coz of DPP mismanagement? Do you think all the sudden they have trust in you same guys who wrecked havoc on our economy from 2011 all through mpaka imfa ya Bingu. Kondwani umandikwiyitsa kwambiri mmayankhulidwe ako. You are a dunderheads, we don’t eat politics and we are dumb tired with your propaganda. Mxiiiiiii.

    STOP THAT MADNESS FORTHWITH PERIOD.

  26. special advisor says:

    I have ever headed a financially struggling institution. I was young, passionate and zealous/kaziotche. When I carried out a diagnostic check, I found that the revenue collection system was leaking in multiple places. When I checked what we were spending on, I found out that we should not have been paying for such in the first place. When I tried to fox these, I discovered that I WAS ON MY OWN. That is how touch public service reforms are. Be careful, Saulos! Reforms and our current financial stress are two sides of the same coin. They cause and interact with each other. You see, you have just succumbed to one of the pitfalls! My brother, it’s the lavish culture of launches and six course dinners that are part of the rot! Were these necessary? How much was spent on it? What about Ministers that double as MPs? Frugality goes hand in hand with transparency and accountability. Gondwe and Peter, you are secretive and arrogant about public financial management. Tell us: How did the Kwacha stabilize? Tell us how are we spending the money that we borrow? Tell us about loan repayments. Tell us why it costs so much to make a hole in the ground and fix a water pump in it (bore holes are damn expensive)! Tell us why contractors make so much money. Construction is so lucrative! THESE are symptoms that government is being ripped off. Check the same contractors and service suppliers sponsor the political parties. That is why the rot will not end! Here is my one penny worth of a long term intervention. Document all fundraising done by political parties. We need to know who funds them so that we know where those people get the money and what they get back in return. BUYING aervice /project contracts should end. It is where we lose the biggest chunks of resources, because of overpricing and additional “levies” to finance “thank yous”.

    1. Wisdom and intelligence pouring out

    2. Zosautsa says:

      You are a President material. Please keep it up. Very objective analysis.
      Komabe ndikudziwa ena ziwanyasa, kuzolowera kuba.

  27. Patriot says:

    Pamene iye nde kuononga chuma cha boma nde katswiri. Aziphunzitsi osawapatsa malipiro awo, atatenga ndalama zawo zonse kukadyera ku Addis Abeba.
    Useless gouvernment.

  28. Likoma Economist says:

    Reduce their fuel allowance to 200 litres a month. That is more effecive than that rhetoric.

  29. aphiri says:

    Truth of the matter is that donors are afraid of u coz of 92 billion. Besides 20 billion u are also criminals . U are busy cashing on flood donations by supplying food items at a higher price than the normal cost of food. Tina contracts mpaka 12,000 per bag of mealie meal zoona zimenezo? Wafika liti mtengo umenewo ufa? God hv mercy

  30. James says:

    Welcome move!!! It Will help.

  31. Kadakwiza says:

    Where is 92 billion kwacha Hon minister? We are suffering today because of 92 billion kwacha which was stolen from 2005 to 2012.

  32. David says:

    will only trust you if you tell the world and Malawians in particular who stole the 92 billion from 2005.

  33. grinzo50 says:

    Donors stopped supporting Malawi during the time of the late Big Kahuna. so what this Nankhumwa guy is saying is rubbish. Whom do you want to fool. We know what is happening. Si please Mr Minister stop this madness of wanting to blame just fix the situation rather.

  34. Name*sammy says:

    That’s a welcome move and keep on mr president!

  35. nkunthamasese says:

    What Nankhumwa is saying must include the 92 billion. Lutepo has been being used since 2005 so nobody should be spared. Önse afukulidwe ndipo abweze . katundu , nyumba zilandibwe tó recover the whole amount 112 billion (92 + 20) Amen.

  36. bid biht says:

    nonsense before you got into power things were okay in malawi but you fools with your hidden 90 billion cashgate messed up our mighty malawi.

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