Barely one week after the Malawi’s major donors announced a freeze in budgetary support, government has with immediate effect suspended both internal and external travels by its officers, including President Joyce Banda.
Government has also warned that those who do not comply risk being punished.
Unveiling the measures at a press briefing in the capital, Lilongwe on Wednesday, Malawi Minister of Finance Maxwell Mkwezalamba said the suspension is one of the expenditure controls and accounting measures for the 2013/14 financial year by the government in line with current economic conditions and the need to improve on management of public funds.
Said Mkwezalamba: “I would like to announce that government has suspended all internal and foreign travel by government officials with immediate effect. This suspension applies to all government officials across the board.”
The minister confirmed that this measure will also apply to the President who has been criticised for her frequent external and internal travels.
He said: “Yes, this measure will apply to everybody who uses government money and resources across the board.”
However, Mkwezalamba was quick to say the only trips government will allow are those that are critical or fully funded by other partners.
“The Chief Secretary to the Government [Hawa Ndilowe] is the one who will be assessing whether a particular travel is critical or not,” he said.
–Read More in tomorrows THE NATION.