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

Obama: I Will Do 'Everything I Can' to Close Guantanamo

US president says prison continues 'to inspire jihadists and extremists around the world' More

Sierra Leone Educates on Safe Ebola Burials

Also, country is improving at rapid response to isolated outbreaks, but health workers need to be even faster, officials say More

Religion Aside, Christmas Gains Popularity in Communist Vietnam

Increasingly wealthy Vietnamese embrace holiday due to its non-religious glamor, commercial appeal 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.
US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubansi
X
Sharon Behn
December 19, 2014 9:34 PM
For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubans

For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Cuba Deal is Major Victory for Pope’s Diplomatic Initiatives

Pope Francis played a key role in brokering the US-Cuba deal that was made public earlier this week. It is the most stunning success so far in a series of peacemaking efforts by the pontiff. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.

All About America

AppleAndroid