News / Africa

Malawi Imposes Strict Official Travel Ban

FILE - Malawi President Joyce Hilda Mtila Banda addresses the 68th session of the United Nations General Assembly.
FILE - Malawi President Joyce Hilda Mtila Banda addresses the 68th session of the United Nations General Assembly.
Peter Clottey
Malawi has instituted a travel ban on all administration officials, including President Joyce Banda.  Information minister Brown Mpinganjira calls the move a cost-cutting measure.                 

Similarly, he says much of the government will be shut down for two weeks over the Christmas holiday.

“We are taking tough measures to rein in expenditure, [one being] the ban on all internal travel,” said Mpinganjira. “By banning internal travel for some time we are expecting to be making some significant savings. This ban affects everybody but of course there would be exceptions, when the president has to travel.”

Some observers have questioned whether President Banda’s scheduled travel to Europe this weekend could be affected by the new policy. Mpinganjira said Mrs. Banda’s travel was privately funded.

“She is being sponsored, [and] they are paying for her fares and upkeep. So, we are not really losing much in that respect,” Mpinganjira said. “Naturally as head of state, she has to do some local travel, but by and large it is a ban that is going to affect everybody, and we think it will realize some substantial savings.”                                  

Donor funding accounts for about 40 percent of Malawi’s annual budget.

But Mpinganjira denied reports the ban was motivated by the decision by international development partners to withhold financial support from the government over corruption concerns.

“It is true that donors have indicated that they are delaying disbursement of their budget support, but even if that statement had not been made, we would still have needed to re-work our budget. We would still have to take tough measures to contain expenditure,” said Mpinganjira.

He said the travel bans were necessary because Malawi is recovering from wide scale embezzlement, which is linked to the September 13 shooting of budget director Paul Mphwiyo. Mphwiyo, who is recovering from a South African hospital, has promised to identify those behind the attack.

“We are just coming out of the crisis that [was] created by fraud in the civil service where a lot of money has been stolen. Up to now, we don’t know exactly how much,” said Mpinganjira. “As a result, it has left a big hole in the government’s coffers, and it is necessary for us to re-do our budget because we do not have the sort of resources that would satisfy the budget that we had at the beginning of the year.”

Mpinganjira acknowledged that the travel ban will affect some business sectors of the economy. He however noted that the government will review the measure in three months to evaluate the success of the ban, and to determine its next line of action.    
Clottey interview with Brown Mpinganjira, Malawi information minister
Clottey interview with Brown Mpinganjira, Malawi information ministeri
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X

You May Like

China May Be Biggest Winner From Ukraine Crisis

Missile sales, oil and gas shipments are among many areas that may drive Beijing and Moscow closer together in coming years More

Obama Faces Chaotic World, Limits of Power

Current foreign policy issues bring into focus challenges for US policymakers who are mindful of Americans' waning appetite for overseas military engagements More

SADC Meeting Lesotho Officials to Resolve Stalemate

Official says regional bloc has been engaged with leaders in Lesotho to resolve political disagreement that led to coup attempt More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Maria from: Blantyre
November 16, 2013 11:19 AM
The late Bingu wa Muthariks wanted to do this in Malawi. teach Malawians to live wihtin their means.Here we are finding ourselves doing the same under duress! Personally I think this is a good idea because like this Malwians will come up with a solution to their economy and stop being 'dick heads!' who depend on loans all their life time.

The point being that if Malawians can manage this period of time with what they have got, the next stage is to grow their economy so that they need the donors less and less. So this is not abd thing at all. They will suffer but by suffering they will then get involved in making it better for their country. Stop all this irresponsible looting and laziness and start working smart!!!


by: walcot
November 15, 2013 9:39 AM
african politics is dirty no one can tel u the truth


by: japhy from: durban
November 14, 2013 11:42 PM
He is also waiting his time to steal, he stole a big money whn he ws education minister, thts why he goes n' joine each n' evry government, he jst want one more big, that's Mpinganjira every one in malawi knws,

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015i
X
Carol Pearson
August 30, 2014 7:14 PM
A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.
Video

Video Cost to Raise Child in US Continues to Rise

The cost of raising a child in the United States continues to rise. In its latest annual report, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says middle income families with a child born in 2013 can expect to spend more than $240,000 before that child turns 18. And sending that child to college more than doubles that amount. VOA’s Deborah Block visited with a couple with one child in Alexandria, Virginia, to learn if the report reflects their lifestyle.
Video

Video Chaotic Afghan Vote Recount Threatens Nation’s Future

Afghanistan’s troubled presidential election continues to be rocked by turmoil as an audit of the ballots drags on. The U.N. says the recount will not be completed before September 10. Observers say repeated disputes and delays are threatening the orderly transfer of power and could have dangerous consequences. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Ukraine Battles Pro-Russia Rebel Assault

After NATO concluded an emergency meeting to discuss the crisis in eastern Ukraine, the country is struggling to contain heavy fighting near the strategic port of Mariupol, on the Azov Sea. Separatist rebels are trying to capture the city, allegedly with Russian military help, and Ukraine's defense forces are digging in. VOA's Daniel Schearf spoke with analysts about what lies ahead for Ukraine.
Video

Video Growing Business Offers Paint with a Twist of Wine

Two New Orleans area women started a small business seven years ago with one thing in mind: to help their neighbors relieve the stress of coping with a hurricane's aftermath. Today their business, which pairs painting and a little bit of wine, has become one of the fastest growing franchises across the U.S. VOA’s June Soh met the entrepreneurs at their newest franchise location in the Washington suburbs.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials To Begin Next Week

The National Institutes of Health says it is launching early stage trials of a vaccine to prevent the Ebola virus, which has infected or killed thousands of people across West Africa. The World Health Organization says Ebola could infect more than 20,000 people across the region by the time the outbreak is over. The epidemic has health experts and governments scrambling to prevent more people from becoming infected. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Asian Bacteria Threatens Florida Orange Trees

Florida's citrus fruit industry is facing a serious threat from a bacteria carried by the Asian insect called psyllid. The widespread infestation again highlights the danger of transferring non-native species to American soil. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Aging Will Reduce Economic Growth Worldwide in Coming Decades

The world is getting older, fast. And as more people retire each year, fewer working-age people will be there to replace them. Bond rating agency Moody’s says that will lead to a decline in household savings; reducing global investments - which in turn, will lead to slower economic growth around the world. But experts say it’s not too late to mitigate the economic impact of the world’s aging populations. Mil Arcega has more.
Video

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

The United States along with European and Mideast allies are considering a broader assault against Islamic State fighters who have spread from Syria into Iraq and risk further destabilizing an already troubled region. But as VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports, confronting those militants could end up helping the embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Video

Video Made in America Socks Get Toehold in Online Fashion Market

Three young entrepreneurs are hoping to revolutionize the high-end sock industry by introducing all-American creations of their own. And they’re doing most of it the old-fashioned way. VOA’s Julie Taboh recently caught up with them to learn what goes into making their one-of-a-kind socks.
Video

Video Americans, Ex-Pats Send Relief Supplies to West Africa

Health organizations from around the world are sending supplies and specialists to the West African countries that are dealing with the worst Ebola outbreak in history. On a smaller scale, ordinary Americans and African expatriates living in the United States are doing the same. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.

AppleAndroid