News / Africa

Malawi Adopts Expenditure Controls after Donors Freeze Aid

FILE - Parliament of Malawi (Courtesy: Embassy of the Republic of Malawi in Washington, DC)
FILE - Parliament of Malawi (Courtesy: Embassy of the Republic of Malawi in Washington, DC)
Lameck Masina
— The Malawi government has put austerity measured into place that are aimed at controlling government expenditures following the suspension of donor support in the wake of a growing corruption scandal known as "Cashgate." Last week, donors halted $150 million in funding to the Malawi government. The money will not start to flow again until donors are satisfied with the outcome of the investigation into the scandal, which saw more than $250 million looted from government coffers. 
 
Malawi’s Minister of Finance Maxwell Mkwezalamba noted that the measures also include a ban on travel for government officials.
 
“The measures focus largely on expenditure cuts, including those related to travel. So travel has been suspended with an immediate effect, both internal and external. However, there will be some exceptions where you have political travel upon approval, but also fully funded travel will be permitted,” explained Mkwezalamba.
 
Mkwezalamba said that only three people will be allowed to make a ministerial delegation, and that each ministry will be allowed only three pool vehicles to cut down on fuel and other costs. He said the government has also suspended the commissioning of any development projects that have not yet begun.
 
The finance minister brushed aside fears that the government will introduce new taxes to keep up with its finances or borrow from local banks.
 
“We already know that the existing tax rates are such that the investment environment is conducive, so we would not resort to increasing tax rates. I think, if anything, what could be done is to enhance revenue collection,” Mkwezalamba said.
 
Mkwezalamba noted that the government has not resorted to borrowing because of the negative consequences it may bring to the country’s economy in terms of increasing interest rates and inducing inflation. Economic commentators have hailed the move and asked the government to be practical. They note that the previous administration attempted to implement similar measures when donors withdrew aid, but fell short.

You May Like

Video On the Scene: In Gaza, Darkness Brings Dread and Death

Palestinians fear nighttime raids, many feel abandoned by outside world, VOA's Scott Bobb reports More

African Small Farmers Could Be Key to Ending Food Insecurity

Experts say providing access to microloans, crop insurance, better storage facilities, irrigation, road systems and market information could enable greater production More

University of Michigan Wins Solar Car Race

Squad guided its student-designed solar-powered vehicle to fifth consecutive time victory in eight-day bi-annual American Solar Challenge More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid