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Africa: Chakwera Stays Away From AU Meeting As He Honours Austerity Govt Measures

Political and social commentators are giving President Dr Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera a thumbs up following his decision to stay away from a crucial African Union summit as he continues to honour austerity measures he imposed last year.

Heads of state and government in Africa are in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia where an African Union summit has kicked off today, Saturday.

Humphrey Mvula, a political and social commentator said it was good that President Dr Chakwera was walking the top on austerity measures.

He said all civil servants and public servants should emulate President Dr Chakwera in observing the austerity measures.

President Dr Chakwera delegated minister of Education Madalitso Wirima Kambauwa to represent Malawi at the summit.

Some of the heads of state and government attending the summit include William Ruto of Kenya, Paul Kagame of Rwanda and Zimbabwe president Emmerson Mnangagwa.

President Dr Chakwera sanctioned the tough austerity measures following the unprecedented 44 per cent devaluation of the Malawi Kwacha against the dollar and as a move to turn around the economy battered by natural calamities, global economic shocks as well as the covid-19 and cholera outbreaks.

Government saves K4.2 billion from Chakwera’s austerity measures

Apart from cutting his own external travel and the external travel of his cabinet ministers and other government officials, President Chakwera directed that the fuel allocation to all top government officials should be cut by 50 percent as one way of cost cutting measures and that international trips have to be curtailed.

Minister of Finance Simplex Chithyola Banda said the austerity measures were expected to save K4.2 billion of tax payer money.

Chithyola said the saved money will go towards productive areas such as the Mega Farms.

The Mega Farms initiative is one of the growth areas at the heart of President Chakwera as he has set his sights towards changing the narrative of Malawi being a predominantly consuming country to an exporting one.

Apart from placing a travel ban on government officials including himself until March, President Chakwera also announced a number of stringent economic measures which are expected to rake the expected dividends.

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