Malawi News, yesterday carried a leaked memo from President Peter Mutharika to State Residences Chief of Staff Peter Mukhito.
The memo outlines six guidelines how to save State House coffers in the wake of the ‘zero-aid’ budget.
One of the most interesting guideline is an order for officers and aides to follow him to functions on ‘needs basis’ only.
It is unfortunate that this order is coming in the wake of the ‘zero-aid’ budget. This is what is supposed to happen even when our coffers are busting at their seams with dollars.
Look, the muckraking community has always wondered why, for example, the Vice President, the entire cabinet, the Capital Hill ‘who’s who’ and the heads of the Police and the Army should always follow the President wherever he goes.
It is worse when the President is going out on – or arriving from – an international assignment. The whole Capital Hill literary shuts down!
These are unnecessary expenses even when the economy is on the right keel. If the President is opening a tobacco factory, for example, let the ministers of Agriculture and Trade accompany him. His Economics advisor may also come in handy. The rest of the cabinet and aides must stay in their offices and make themselves useful.
These measures are a good start. They should not end when the economy looks up. I know the Presidents’ men and women make a killing out of these junkets. But you were called to serve, not to make money. If you want to make money quit and find a proper job.