President Lazarus Chakwera has said he has ordered ministries to review their plans for local and international travel during the 2021 to 2023 recovery plans as one way of making sure that the now frail economy gets back on course.
Chakwera said during a recorded briefing on Tuesday from State House, ahead of the festivities, that he had also ordered that the ministries review their plans for procurement of new vehicles during the same period.
“The outcome of their review must be the submission of revised and scaled down plans that limit spending on travel and new vehicles to what is deemed absolutely necessary.
“I myself have not added a single new car to my convoy, but continue to use the card inherited from my predecessor, and I am already scaling down my travel plans for the recovery period, and so I expect every ministry and my administration to do the same.
“And I want to assure all Malawians that since I do not practice wastage of your taxes, I will also not tolerate it from others,” Chakwera said.
He bemoaned that the economy had been hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic, and decried that it was unfortunate that only over half a million of the Malawi population had been vaccinated.
He said: “Only over half a million in this country are fully vaccinated, which is less that 5% of the targeted 11 million people we need vaccinate to reach herd immunity. We actually have vaccine doses that are in danger of expiring, because so many of you are not getting vaccinated.”
According to the Malawi leader, those that are not getting vaccinated keep on putting the country’s economy at the risk of staying stagnant.
“The more of you get vaccinated and protected from severe Covid disease, the less pressure there will be on our health system, which is currently draining many of our national resources to support the hospitalization of unvaccinated Covid patients,” he said.
Since the onset of the pandemic in the country, Malawi has registered 60 000 cases and 2 300 deaths.
He advised the citizenry to continue observing the Covid-19 preventive measures such as washing hands, observing social distance and avoiding crowded gatherings.
On the economy, Chakwera said his administration was immensely intervening to support the private sector players plying their trade in productive sectors with great potential, including commercial farming, manufacturing, mining, and tourism.
He admitted the country was was through “uncertain” and “turbulent” times, saying every nation and economy on earth was going through the same.
“But that does not mean we should give in to despair, nor entertain those whose interest is to turn us against each other. A time of loss is not a a time for politics,” he said.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :