By Spy Uganda Correspondent
As most African Presidents continue to show that they don’t care about the wanainchi in the current economic crisis attributed to Ukraine-Russia war, Malawi stands to save $261,000 (£216,000) from two cancelled presidential trips as part of the government’s austerity measures, the finance minister has announced.
President Lazarus Chakwera will not attend the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Kigali, Rwanda, and the Opec Fund Development Forum in Vienna, Austria. Both gatherings are scheduled for June.
He will instead be represented by ministers.
Finance Minister Sosten Gwengwe told journalists that “government has not banned foreign trips but restricted [them] to only essential trips”.
“Some trips cannot be avoided, for example the president is handing over the SADC chairmanship to DRC in August, that’s a trip that cannot be delegated,” he said.
Malawi last month announced a 25% devaluation of the local currency, the kwacha, as part of adjustments to secure funding from the International Monetary Fund.
The Southern African nation is among the world’s top exporters of Burley tobacco but fails to shore up enough foreign currency reserve with the sole revenue generated by the leaf exports. If the country has invested in tea, sugar, and soybean in a bid to diversify its exports, it still needs 1 billion $ each year in order to secure vital imports.