Inflation: Malawi’s President Chakwera suspends foreign trips for himself, cabinet members

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The President of Malawi, Lazarus Chakwera, on Wednesday suspended foreign trips for himself and cabinet members as part of measures to alleviate the impact of the recent devaluation of the country’s currency by 44 per cent.

The president announced the new policy on Wednesday during a televised speech.

“I know that this decision has caused a lot of pain – and I know that all of us now have to make big adjustments in spending so that we can prioritise those areas that are most productive,” Chakwera said.

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The Reserve Bank of Malawi had earlier this month announced the devaluation of the country’s currency by 44 per cent to allow the local currency to align with the U.S. dollar on the black market.

The policy had consequently lead to increase in prices of almost all commodities, including fuel and electricity, by more than 40 per cent, prompting Chakwera to suspend his foreign trips till the end of the fiscal year in March.

Also, the President suspended public-funded trips for public officers at all levels, including those in parastatals or state-owned enterprises, till March next year.

He also ordered a reduction in fuel allowances for top government officials, which include ministers, by half.

“In fact, all cabinet members currently abroad on public-funded trips must return to Malawi with immediate effect,” Chakwera said.

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