Malawi: Members Agree Ban On Business Class Air Travel for Civil Servants

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Malawi: Members Agree Ban On Business Class Air Travel for Civil Servants

Lilongwe — Members of Parliament Thursday agreed to stop Civil Servants travelling outside the country from using business class air tickets and restrict them to economy class tickets only.

This comes after parliamentarians adopted a motion on the same moved byNkhotakota south east representative Everson Mwale.

According to him, this is one way government could be saving public finances.

“I have original documents here with me which indicate that a return ticket on South African Airways to London costs around K782, 000.00 economy class while a business class ticket costs a whooping K2.1 plus million. This cost is alarming and not justified given our current economic situation,” he said.

According to him Civil servants need to learn from players in the private sector who prefer to travel on economy class air tickets and should leave business class tickets to billionaires like Bill Gates, (Prophet Shepherd) Bushiri and Aliko Dangote.

The member also said he wondered how many Civil servants could travel on business class on their own personal capacity.

If this was to be implemented he said in the long run, government would be saving millions of Kwacha’s.

“Considering the fragile nature of our economy and the prevailing sensitivity of foreign and local travel in our public service, and in order to re-channel luxury expenditure to pro-poor and pro-growth expenditure, the house resolves that all air travel by Civil servants using public funds should forthwith be restricted to economy class.

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“In the political domain, ordinary Members of Parliament are already living by example on this necessity,” moved Mwale.

The motion was seconded by Zomba Central Parliamentarian Patricia Kainga who said there is need to institute strict measures of saving public finances.

“Even if you travel on a business class ticket and someone gets the economy class, you will still arrive at the same time. However, the savings you will make will be very huge,” said Kainga.

The motion received several contributions from members amongst others; Lilongwe City centre representative David Bisnowaty, Chitipa South Werani Chilenga.

Kasungu South Vasco Chimbalu however, urged fellow members to be sober minded because sometimes Members of Parliament make rules seeing that others are benefiting from something and not them like it is with us travelling on economy class tickets while others are travelling on business class air tickets,” said Chimbalu.

However, Zomba Central Parliamentarian Patricia Kainga said this issue was not raised out of jealousy.

“Unfortunately, many would share the same sentiments and feel this is coming out of jealousy but this is not the case. We are just trying to be constructive because there is a strong need to save money here. This could only be temporary and it could be suspended when our economic situation gets better,” said Kainga before members finally agreed on the motion.

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