Consumer Association of Malawi (CAMA) has asked President Lara’s Chakwera that if his administration is serious on government’s cost cutting measures, he should also consider to reduce the number of Cabinet Ministers to a maximum of 20 including deputies and to maintain just 3 presidential advisors.
This is contained in CAMA’s response to Chakwera’s last week’s announcement on measures his administration has undertaken to cut on public spending — which he said were not subject to amendment by any Government Ministry, Agency, Department or Parastatal without prior authorization from the Office of the President.
CAMA thus says the government’s cost cutting measures should also include Cabinet Ministers and Senior Public Officers to with immediate effect stop international and local travels unless on emergencies and upon approval by the President himself.
The statement from CAMA Executive Director, John Kapito further says the President and his deputy, Saulos Chilima “should drastically cut down on their international and local travels” and that he must reduce the number of [countries foreign] embassies to 10 in order to reduce staffing in all foreign offices.
“We wish to thank the State President for the national cost cutting measures that he recently announced, which is in response to the current economic and social challenges being faced by many Malawians,” says the statement, while thanking Chakwera for the measures.
Kapito maintains that CAMA’s observations and additions “can add value to the measures” that Chakwera announced and wishes “to request Government to provide figures alongside each cost cutting measure that will be realized as a result of these cost cutting measures.
CAMA also asks the Government “to come up with a monthly public meetings that will discuss and inform Malawians on any savings as a result of these cost cutting measures”.
“We also ask the State President to come up with the cost cutting measures for the Judiciary and Legislature so that we have a full understanding of the national cost cutting measures as we suspect that the measures introduced by the State President are more to do with the Executive Branch of Government.
“We wish also to ask the Minister of Finance to announce the very many cost cutting measures he had introduced in his National Budget, and those measures were; Review of personal emoluments or allowances for Civil Servants and the removal of the use of 4×4 cars by public servants.”
However, having looked at the cost cutting measures Chakwera introduced, Kapito also requests the Government to include the cutting measures he outlined that include government removing “the many obscene benefits and allowances given to Cabinet Ministers and all senior public servants — especially on fuel, security and housing”.
And that all public servants must be assigned with small vehicles as indicated in the Budget Statement of 2022-2023, adding that all the 4×4 vehicles must be withdrawn and put for sale including those vehicles that were bought for SADC conference.
CAMA request that all government workshops must be held within Lilongwe other than the lakeshore resorts or in Mponela and to “stop the abuse of public money in the name of allowances” and that all procurement by MDA’s and local assemblies must be made public before an award.
“All ex-officio board members of parastatals that use Government vehicles must not be paid travel and tear and wear allowances for attending such board meetings” and that “a designated Parliamentary Committee should be responsible for scrutinizing delegations for the President and Vice-President”.
The Presidential convoy was also not spared that included police line-up on the roads, saying these “must be reduced” and to “remove the Agricultural Input Program (AIP) Budget Line from the current and future budgets and transfer such a responsibility to the private sector”.
“The National Economic Empowerment Fund (NEEF) must be withdrawn and transfer such responsibility to financial institutions with negotiated terms and conditions.
“The State President must release and implement the Public Sector Reforms report in order to improve the current public sector performance and delivery of services.
“The review of packages and allowances paid to civil servants as indicated in the National Budget 2022-2023 must be implemented with immediate effect,” conclude Kapito
Chakwera’s public spending were:
1) Public officers, including the President, who need to travel abroad for their work out of absolute necessity will only be allowed to take no more than three trips during the remainder of the year, unless in cases of unforeseen extreme emergency;
2) The number of people in a delegation travelling abroad will be subjected to stringent restrictions;
3) No top-up allowances will be paid to public officers on fully funded trips for work, training, workshops or conferences;
4) Ministry officials traveling within the region for work must fly economy class;
5) All controlling officers will be held responsible for ensuring strict adherence to spending limits we have set for domestic travel;
6) All boards of state-owned enterprises and statutory corporations must confine themselves to quarterly meetings, plus one extraordinary meeting per quarter for emergency situations pursuant to the approval of the line Minister, unless allowed otherwise by the President’s office;
7) Allocations of fuel allowance for all Cabinet Members is to be cut by 20%;
8) The issuance of fuel to public officers who are not entitled to the same is forbidden, and my office will soon provide detailed guidelines on how this will be regulated;
9) The Minister of Transport is directed to provide guidelines to MDAs for the Government-wide adoption of distance charts to regulate fuel consumption per vehicle;
10) The movement of pool vehicles owned by the Government beyond 6pm shall be restricted, and no driver shall be permitted to take such vehicles to their homes, and controlling officers must justify to my office any emergency exceptions to be made;
11) Procurement of new vehicles by MDAs has forthwith been suspended until further notice from the President’s office, and when this restriction is lifted, his office will regulate what model of vehicles are procured for public officers of different grades to end the culture of people feeling entitled to 4x4s;
12) To end the practice of public officers driving Government vehicles they are not authorized to, all public officers authorized to self-drive will soon be issued with an authorization card to be enforced on the roads by the police;
13) The renewal or signing of new employment contracts in all state-owned enterprises is forbidden forthwith, except for special circumstances that must be approved by the President’s office, and this restriction will not be lifted until the Office of the Comptroller of Statutory Corporations is done reviewing the remuneration in this sector to ensure that it reflects the state of the economy and the performance of the institution;
14) No procuring entity in the Government shall be allowed to import goods or services into the country unless proof that the goods and services cannot be procured locally is submitted to and approved by the Minister of Finance.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :