Former Minister of Finance Goodall Gondwe who is also Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Vice President for the North has saluted President Dr. Lazarus Chakwera for implementing some austerity measures to stabilise the economy.
Gondwe’s praise of Chakwera comes barely hours after the opposition DPP described the President address as empty.
According to Gondwe, the austerity measures will only make a real difference if the lack of discipline in the civil service is addressed.
“Measures such as fleet management and cutting down on foreign trips are not new. We had them during Kamuzu’s time and they worked well because of the high level of discipline in the civil service and the then very strong SPC Mr. [Samson] Kakhobwe.
“We tried the same [measures] during the time of Bingu [wa Mutharika], but we really did not achieve a lot because of the eroded discipline in the civil service,” Gondwe was quoted in one of the local daily papers.
However, Gondwe indicated that in as much as the measures may not make much difference, Chakwera has sent a strong political message that he is willing to do something about the terrible economic situation facing the country.
He said he was also impressed that Chakwera took on board the concerns DPP officials, including himself, raised at a press conference held on Monday.
During the address, President Chakwera ordered boards of directors for State-owned enterprises and statutory corporations to confine themselves to quarterly meetings plus one extraordinary meeting per quarter for emergency situations subject to approval by the line minister.
The President also announced a freeze in the purchase of new vehicles in the public service.