REPUBLIC OF MALAWI
HIS EXCELLENCY PROF. ARTHUR PETER MUTHARIKA
PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC
KAMUZU PALACE, LILONGWE
Fellow Malawians, Ladies and Gentlemen,
Our country, Malawi, remains one of the world‟s poorest, ranking 170th out of 187
countries on the Human Development Index (HDI 2013), a position it has been stuck on
As you all know, the HDI measures long-term progress in three basic dimensions of
human development, namely: a long and healthy life, access to knowledge, and a decent
standard of living. Between 1980 and 2013, Malawi‟s annual HDI increase averaged about
1.4 percent, against an average annual population increase of 2.2%. This suggests that
human development has been too slow.
When my party, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), got into government in May this
year, it inherited empty coffers, following the infamous „Cashgate‟ scandal that was
perpetrated by the previous government. The scandal was characterized by a huge
pilferage of public funds due to organized fraud and corruption, and led to a withdrawal of
development assistance that is channeled through the National Budget. The economy was
in shambles as a result, and the cost of living skyrocketed. The impact on the lives of
Malawians was severe.
Malawians will remember that the DPP government inherited huge domestic debt and
enormous arrears owed to providers of goods and services to the government. High
political aggrandizement, self-glorification, and massive corruption were characteristic of
most of the period between mid-2012 and May 2014. Further, the pride and confidence of
the Civil Service was fast waning off.
OUR PROMISE TO THE PEOPLE OF MALAWI
Fellow Malawians, Ladies and Gentlemen,
During the campaign period leading to the May 2014 elections, the DPP was guided by its
election manifesto, entitled “Towards a People-Centered Development.” Through this
manifesto, we promised, among others things, to fight underdevelopment, economic and
social injustice, inequality, corruption, and theft of public funds and abuse of power. We
promised to keep Malawi on a sustained path to development, and not to stop, merely for
political reasons, whatever constituted the good work of previous governments.
We have since assessed the policies and practices of the previous governments, and
resolved to retain the Automatic Fuel Pricing mechanism, the flexible exchange rate
regime, the return of foreign exchange bureaus, and other monetary policy measures
meant to entrench the role of markets in achieving sustainable economic growth.
We went further, however, by adopting fiscal reforms that would support and deepen the
previous reforms. We instituted reforms aimed at running the government most effectively
and efficiently, as follows:
We appointed a cabinet of 20, including deputies, the Vice President and the
We restructured the Office of the President and Cabinet, by moving the Department
of HIV/AIDS and Nutrition and the Safe Motherhood Initiative to the Ministry of
Health; The Presidential Initiative on Poverty and Hunger Reduction to the Ministry
of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development; The National Registration Bureau
to the Ministry of Home Affairs, and The Government Contracting Unit to the Office
of the Director of Public Procurement. We also combined the Ministry of Finance
and the Ministry of Economic Planning and Development into one to facilitate
coordination of the economic management function.
Further I directed that chief executive officers of public institutions, principal
secretaries and other senior public officers would not be attending public functions
except where the functions or events pertain to their organizations.
These reforms alone will save over K70 billion per annum. Further, my government
established the Civil Service Reform Commission, under the leadership of the Vice
President Right Honourable Saulos Chilima. The Commission aims to chart the national
direction and establish national priorities in public service reforms. We want an efficient
and effective public service. Once the reforms are completed, my government hopes to
save an estimated 30% of government resources which are wasted year after year.
STATE OF THE ECONOMY
My fellow Malawians, Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is common knowledge that Malawi is now operating without general budget support,
meaning we have to rely more and more on ourselves to deliver the services that
Malawians need. Moreover, in the spirit of good economic governance, we can only spend
what we have. It is against this background that my government does not allow
unplanned expenditures, and has stepped up efforts to deepen adherence to the existing
economic governance laws.
The past three months have seen our currency lose close to a quarter of its value in
relation to the US dollar, and the impact shows strongly through inflation arising to the
associated rising costs of our imports. This inflation has exerted pressure on interest
rates, hence lowered private investment and employment. Much as seasonality explains
part of the kwacha depreciation, a significant part of it is attributable to speculation. But I
have better news: the Kwacha has since stabilized. I am hopeful that the domestic
currency may even appreciate soon, because we are doing everything possible to get the
economy on the right track. Government has put in place policies that will translate into
increased exports in order to increase foreign exchange earnings which are needed to
defend the domestic currency.
My fellow Malawians, despite the aforesaid challenges facing our economy, the financial
system has stabilized and developments are visible in the financial institutions and the
capital markets. Let me cite a few, as follows:
The payments system remains stable, and no major system disruptions have been
experienced during the past months. Payments, clearing and settlement of transaction,
therefore, are proceeding smoothly.
The banking sector remains sound on account of a favourable macroeconomic
environment and improved banking practices. Despite the average Return on Equity
(ROE) declining to 31% from 38.7%, the banking sector remains profitable.
Other sectors that remain profitable are:
o the Insurance industry, although this sector has to watch against the risk
associated with investments in money markets;
o the Pensions sector, despite its concentration risk coming from limited long term
o the Stock market, despite the fact that the market is shallow and not effective in
providing the alternative source of raising capital as expected; and
o the micro-finance sector, despite a drop in the loan repayment rate due to the
combined impact from a lean agriculture marketing season and persistent non-
remittances of payroll deductions.
Of course, risks to the economy continue, and the government is specifically working its
way forward with the uncertainty regarding the resumption of budgetary support, delayed
donor inflows, and low tobacco prices. Inflation remains a risk that has to be tamed,
Water Situation in Blantyre
My fellow Malawians, I am very aware of the water challenges in Blantyre, and I assure
everyone that government is doing everything possible to not only solve the problem for
now, but set the Blantyre Water Board to be able to supply sufficient water for the
population of year 2040. The BWB‟s infrastructure is aged and has out-lived its design
capacity which was meant for a population of 500,000 residents up to the year 1999.
Today BWB has over 1 million customers. Further, due to inadequate rains in the year
2012/13, the Mudi Dam which produces about 10% of the Board‟s water production dried
up by October 2014. Thirdly electricity, which costs BWB about K270 million per month
to pump water from Nkula, 40 kms away from the City has been another challenge.
I would like to thank the residents of Blantyre for their understanding. We embarked on a
total rehabilitation of the BWB production facilities and replacement of pumps at Walkers
Ferry and Chileka Pumping Stations, and by March 2015, the BWB will be able to meet all
the demand of 96, 000 cubic meters per day, up from the current 74,000 cubic meters
production capacity. In addition, we will construct a water supply system from Mulanje
Mountain at the cost of about US$ 15 million, to provide an extra 8,000 cubic meters of
water per day to Blantyre and surrounding areas.
SECTOR SPECIFIC DELIVERABLES
My fellow Malawians, in spite of what others may say, my government is very determined
to turn this economy round. Today, I would like to account to Malawians what their
government has managed to achieve in the first quarter through a sampling of the
deliverables, as follows:
Office of the President and Cabinet
Oriented all Cabinet ministers and principal secretaries on government policies.
Updated the Administrative Common Service System, Cabinet Directives Monitoring
System, Policy Monitoring System and Inventory System.
Performed organizational performance assessment for third and fourth quarters of
2013/2014 financial year
Through the Civil Service Commission, appointed 312 officers to various positions;
promoted 427 officers; confirmed appointment of 35 officers and concluded 39
Through the Office of the Vice President, provided strategic leadership in the
introduction and implementation of the Public Service Reforms.
Facilitated construction of a sugar processing plant at Chikwawa Site in Salima
under the Green Belt Initiative.
Ministry of Finance, Economic Planning and Development
Strengthened controls in IFMIS to avoid Cashgate.
Introduced quarterly and monthly reporting of budget performance to ministries,
departments and agencies.
Strengthened the cash management function.
Launched and operationalised the Development Cooperation Strategy.
Introduced a zero coupon promissory note to clear outstanding arrears.
Completed a Public Financial Management Reform study as a basis for
implementing a PFM reform programme.
Accountant General’s Department
Decentralized Bank Accounts at the Reserve Bank of Malawi for all Ministries,
Departments and Agencies.
Successfully effected the interface between Epicor IFMIS and Local Councils‟
Institutionalised pre-audit services at the Accountant General‟s Department Central
Ministry of Labour and Manpower Development
Conducted functional review for the establishment of community colleges.
Finalized Career Guideline Book for technical colleges in Malawi
Identified and withdrew 200 children in child labour and prevented a further 1,230
children from engaging in child labour.
Conducted 184 labour inspections; handled 5,798 labour complaints; and
completed 50 occupational safety and health inspections meant to ensure safe work
Launched the TEVET Policy.
Ministry of Transport and Public Works
Completed major works on the Blantyre-Zomba, Lilongwe Western By-pass and
Commenced feasibility and detailed engineering design study on the rehabilitation
of the Sena Line, and completed the rehabilitation of the Nkaya-Nayuchi line.
Procured Air Traffic Control Consoles and Very High Frequency (VHF)
Communication equipment; and the Chileka Instrument Landing System.
Completed and validated first interim report on the navigability of the
Shire/Zambezi waterway, with the final report expected in early 2015.
National Audit Office
Produced the final Cashgate forensic report from which 53 case files were made and
submitted to law enforcement agencies;
Produced final forensic audit report for the Malawi Police 2010 K400 million fraud
with 7 case files submitted directly to Law Enforcement Agencies.
Produced and submitted investigative audit reports on MRA and the Ministry of
Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation
Verified 2,000 pension files and handed back to the Accountant General for
Submitted reports to Parliament which the Public Accounts Committee discussed.
Ministry of Agriculture, Water Development and Irrigation
Completed registration of beneficiaries and suppliers in the 2014/2015 Farm Input
Subsidy Programme (FISP)
Facilitated sale of 186 million kilogrammes of tobacco which earned the country
Produced and distributed vaccines to over half a million livestock as one way of
improving livestock production.
Facilitated production of 28,850 tonnes of fish which fetched K16.7 billion for the
Facilitated fish exports to the following countries: Germany, Hong-Kong, United
Kingdom, China, Denmark, France, Sweden and the United States of America.
Continued with design and construction of irrigation schemes in Neno, Chikwawa,
Nsanje, Phalombe, Thyolo, Mulanje, Mchinji, Kasungu, Salima, Zomba and Chitipa.
Continued with rehabilitation and constructions of the Songwe River Development
Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development
Championed and commenced implementation of the Decent and Affordable (Cement
and Malata) Housing Subsidy Programme
Enforced standards at the following major construction projects: Construction of
National Stadium in Lilongwe, Construction of Chapanga Rural Growth Centre in
Nsanje, Construction of Commercial Court in Blantyre, Construction of Clinic and
Food Court at Capital Hill, Construction of Nkhatabay District Hospital; and
Construction of Health Centres in various districts across the country.
Prepared layout plans for the following areas: Area 2 Extension, Dunduzu and
Areas 5 and 6 in Mzuzu, Area 13 and Area 51 in Lilongwe; Mzimba and Chitipa.
Initiated survey exercise to reaffirm boundary between Malawi and Mozambique
along the boundary line where it is described as following the road in Dedza, Ntcheu
and towards Mwanza.
Department of Disaster Management Affairs
Coordinated development of 2014/2015 food insecurity response plan for the
640,000 food insecure people in 19 districts (December 2014-February 2015).
Developed the 2014/2015 national contingency plan that focusing on flood, drought
and ebola virus outsbreak.
Conducted community search and rescue trainings for over 800 Civil Protection
Committee members in Nsanje, Chikwawa, Salima and Karonga.
Ministry of Health
Immunised over 91% of all children under the age of five to protect them from
Reviewed the National HIV and AIDS and Strategic Plan 2015-25.
Dispensed free ARVs to over 505,000 people and provided HIV/AIDS testing and
prevention of Mother to Child Transmissions (PMTCT) for all mothers delivering at
public health facilities across the country.
Treated over 3.7 million Malawians at public health facilities across the country, of
whom 780,000 were inpatients.
Supported and maintained training of 2,500 medical and nursing students in
various colleges and institutions across the country.
4.10 Ministry of Education, Science and Technology
Successfully mapped all schools under the School Mapping Exercise and details of
all education institutions in Malawi have been properly documented.
Completed the construction of 1,100 classroom blocks and 8 urban schools under
the LDF window; completed civil works for upgrading and expansion of Community
Day Secondary Schools in Salima, Lilongwe, Nkhotakota, Nkhatabay , Mzuzu and
Recruited 9,374 qualified teachers out of a total of 10,500 under ODL 3 and IPTE 7;
started recruitment process of 10,000 primary school teachers; and deployed 1,118
newly graduated teachers for 2013.
Achieved 65% completion rate in construction of 24 girls‟ hostels and identified
additional 12 new sites for girls‟ hostels.
Completed construction of 50 school feeding facilities to support 50,000 learners in
Rumphi, Nkhatabay, Salima, Mangochi, Dowa and Dedza
Decentralised payroll in all six Education Divisions.
4.11 Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development
Developed Integrated Rural Development Strategy aimed at improving coordination
and implementation of Rural Development Programmes in Councils.
Oriented 426 Councilors on their roles and responsibilities in councils.
Oriented 520 chiefs on their roles and responsibilities, as well as primary justice.
Facilitated the backstopping and mainstreaming of Climate Change and
Environment issues into Socio-Economic Profiles and District Development Plans
for Blantyre, Balaka, Ntcheu, Nkhotakota and Thyolo districts.
4.12 Ministry of Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare
Institutionalised Gender and Development Diploma, Degree and Masters
programmes at the Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources.
Developed Gender Responsive Budgeting Manual
Provided cash transfers to 30,000 ultra-poor and labour constrained households in
Balaka, Chitipa, Likoma, Mangochi, Machinga, Thyolo and Salima districts
benefiting 150,000 inividuals.
Submitted State Part Reports on the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of
Violence Against Women (CEDAW); Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC);
The African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of Children; Two optional Protocols
Rehabilitated 450 persons with disabilities at community level in Mzimba, Liwonde,
Balaka and Blantyre Rural.
4.13 Ministry of Information, Tourism and Culture
Finalised drafting of the National Cultural Policy
Increased the number of local television channels from 5 to 10
Classified 95 films and documentation of 12 National Monuments
Developed tourism data bank, promoted 6 tourism events and updated Malawi‟s
Conducted district law enforcement and protected areas patrols, anti-poaching
patrols and sensitization exercises with 25 border posts officers aimed at combating
illegal trade and exportation and importation of wildlife resources.
4.14 Ministry of Home Affairs and Internal Security
Produced zero draft National Migration Policy
Arrested 3,394 suspects in sweeping exercise; 171 illegal immigrants; and pursued
597 court cases to completion. 3,127 illegal firearms were destroyed.
Processed and issued 38,194 passports and 1,112 temporary travel documents; 28
applications for citizenship; and 1651 various permits and visas.
4.15 Ministry of Youth and Sports
Graduated 25 sports administrators on University of Pretoria Sports Business
Facilitated the participation of the Malawi National Netball Team in the 2014
Glasgow Commonwealth Games where it maintained position 5 in the world; and
also the Malawi National Football Team in the 2015 African Cup of Nations where it
played in the group stages.
Scaled up the CONDOMISE campaign, directly reaching over 5,000 youths and
54,000 condoms distributed.
4.16 Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs
The Law Commission completed reforms in the Sheriffs Act and Chiefs Act; reviewed
the Abortion Law; and undertook reforms in the Prisons Act and development of
Legislation on Sentencing Guidelines.
The Malawi Human Rights Commission conducted 39 investigations of complaints
on reported violations of human rights; Monitored 168 child care institutions;
trained head-teachers, Community-Based Organisations and Human Rights Clubs
on human right-based approaches; and contributed to the Government State Party
The Ombudsman resolved 76 cases; established performance management system
and launched a Democracy Accountability-Social Waste Management in Local
Councils pilot study.
The Judiciary cleared a backlog of 12,714 cases (representing 21.5% achievement of
the total planned cases of 58,910 cases in year 2014/2015; and conducted 56 camp
courts across the country to ensure that vulnerable groups such as women and
children access justice.
WHERE ARE WE HEADING TO?
My fellow Malawians, Ladies and Gentlemen,
Based on the tangibles seen so far on the ground, we maintain the estimate that Malawi
will grow by an average of 5.5% in 2014, from an estimated 5.0% in 2013. This rate is
agreed by the International Monetary Fund (estimated 6.12% growth), the World Bank
(4.4%), and the Reserve Bank of Malawi (6.3%).
The bankable projects compendium that we launched early this month provides hope for
Malawi‟s future. I invite investors, both local and international, to take advantage of these
business opportunities. On our part as government, we will provide the environment that
will make businesses flourish, as this creates a win-win situation between private investor
and the government.
Donor disbursement of aid has an impact on Malawi‟s growth since donors have
traditionally funded over 70% of the development budget. But as everyone knows now,
donors significantly reduced budgetary support to Malawi because of Cashgate. My
government has strengthened the financial system to make sure that Cashgate never
occurs again in Malawi; we have resourced fairly well the Law Enforcement Institutions,
including the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB), so that they do a thorough independent job,
prosecute all suspects, and recover the stolen resources where possible. We are exercising
fiscal discipline and making sure that we do not disturb the macroeconomic
fundamentals. We are doing everything possible to make sure that all Malawians and the
international community have the confidence in their government. We have only one
Malawi, and we must all work towards making our country the true Warm Heart of Africa.
I want to share with you the background to a number of developments in our country and
to explain why they are occurring. I will also like to inform the public how the
Government is dealing with these matters.
We have, as a country, embarked on a number of initiatives that are intended to
transform our country. These are aimed at improving its socio-economic status and
principally to accelerateour fight against endemic poverty.As you are aware, there is a
general disappointment around the country that our socio-economic performance during
the first 50 years of our independencewas unsatisfactory. In the event, the general
consensus inter alia was to demand for a transformation of the public service which is the
key instrument for economic development, and the rehabilitation of other institutions.
Only then, it is being argued, do we stand a chance of creating conditions for achieving a
better economic performance. This view was so prevalent that during political campaigns
for elections, this subject dominated debates to demonstrate its importance.
The Democratic Progressive Party, in its manifesto,adopted public service and public
finance management reforms as priority programs of the needed transformation
programme of action and wage harmonization in the public service is made the
cornerstone of the public service reforms. Wage harmonization is not only necessary to
revitalize the service but it is considered an important means of curbing the propensity for
fraud in the Service. Equally important is the fact that it restores the principle of “equal
pay for equal work”in the public service as was the case up to 1998 before a multiplicity of
salary scales emerged.
The wage harmonisation policy therefore is not only needed to ensure the needed
enhancement of the effectiveness and efficient of the public service but it is also intended
to curb the potential for financial frauds and eradicate laissez faire attitudes that have
thrived in public service particularly during the past two decades. The principle of “equal
pay for equal work”in the form harmonization must be a core element of the
transformation process and must be implemented. For itsimply does not make sense that
a newly recruited doctor in the mainstream Civil Service should receive a starting salary
that is equal to the salary of a driver in the Anti-Corruption Bureau or in Human Rights
organisation. Nor does it make sense that a Budget Director or the Accountant General
for example should receive just about half the salary of his counterparts in the Judiciary
or in the National Assembly. We are unlikely to get the best from such people and we
have created an environment that is conducive to fraud which progressively led to a
disregard for public money as we saw during the cashgate days. It is in view of this that
the Government has decided that as part of the needed transformation, salary scales in
the public service be harmonized as they were between 1964-1998.
Let me deviate and give you the background to the present controversies that have
engulfed our country. In order to achieve harmonization, the government decided that,
within the budgetary limit of an average wage bill increase of 24.4 percent, the
mainstream Civil Service should have a higher increment that would permit their salary
scale to be notionally higher than other salary scales in the public service except for the
Anti-Corruption Bureau that remains the highest. We then allowed other scales to
increase up to the new mainstream Civil Service salary scale. But because their scales
were originally higher than that of the Civil Service, it followed that their increment were
smaller. The gist of the strikes and other controversies is that those who had privileged
salary scales want to continue to earn more than their mainstream Civil Service
colleagues. In short they demand equal salary increments that would maintain their
superiority over the mainstream Civil Service. To do this, of course means, that we would
have to find extra money from somewhere. There is just no money for us to increase their
salary scales. Recently the IMF programme that we have signed is premised on
expenditure and therefore wage containment.
If we break this agreement with the IMF, the chances of reducing inflation and interest
rates and returning to normality will have vanished. Bwanas and Donnas you can see
that between wage containment demanded by the IMF and finding means to perpetuate
privileges for a few people, the country must choose wage containment.
However, I am aware that there is need to resolve the controversies so that the country
can resume normality. For this reason, I am prepared to continue to negotiate with those
who feel aggrieved. But these negotiations must be within the legal framework. We are
prepared to prevent the prevalence of anarchy that is being fueled by a few disgruntled
power hungry politicians within and outside the country. We have the means, within the
law, to deal with such elements of people.
Lastly, I wish to appeal to you Bwanas and Donnas to be understanding as we pass
through these turbulent times.
When deciding to implement such a policy, we knew that groups within the public service
that are privileged to enjoy higher salary scales would fight against this policy. I must
confess that I equally expected that the sense of fairness and decency would prevail
Unfortunately, unscrupulous politicians within and outside have taken
advantage of the situation to perpetuate the controversy and extend it to other sectors
inside and outside the public sector.
I wish to appeal to the public to support the Government in this matter that is ultimately
intended to enhance our economic performance and accelerate the eradication of poverty
in our country as I have explained.
Let me thank you for listening to me on this very important subject.
In conclusion, I would like to thank all government ministries, departments and agencies
that worked so hard in the past quarter. Together we have achieved a lot; and together we
will transform this nation.
In the coming few weeks, government will announce the specific targets that each
ministry and department will be pursuing in 2015. The public is therefore encouraged to
directly interact and/or question the relevant ministry and/or department in line with
their mandates. Further, I have directed that every two weeks at least one ministry
and/or department must face the public and account for their planned deliverables.
Remember, this DPP-led government aims to double the economy by 2019. So, Action,
and more action is all we need.
Let me thank you for listening to me.
May the Almighty God bless you all and bless Mother Malawi.