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.
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.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :