Exclusive: Malawi economy distressful: Opposition
By: Happy Arnold Soko
Contradicting the government’s claim of inheriting an “empty coffer” and making a vigorous improvement in the economic front, the opposition party claims that the government has put the economy in distress.
In an interview with The Malawi Star on Thursday the opposition Umozi Party Leader, Professor John Chisi, stated that the government’s pledge to fix the economy on national debt, unemployment and the currency shortage has not changed at all.
“The economy is in real distress and the government is clueless on economic policy and financial discipline. Whatever vision the government has lacks human capacity. This is because those that government has put in position are not educated enough to take key responsibilities. These people do not save Malawi but steal from the government.”
“The vision might be good on the paper but they are not implementable. Countries like Malawi get into loans and unfortunately asks expertise from elsewhere to do the catch22. Therefore all the money borrowed cannot be paid back because it has not been used in the economic circulation of Malawi. And because money is not circulated in the country, we can never get rich.”
Reacting to the recent Mk101 trillion budget, Chisi said government has already spent the last year’s MK900 billion without any investment being made. He added that poor investment by government will continue to cause trade deficit of domestic revenue.
He explained in an interview, “The budget is not thoughtful, does not have the interest of people at heart and is not centered at developing the nation but maintaining the poverty line. There is no projection for growth, industrialization; there is no projection for human capacity development and long term sustainability exit strategies. It’s the same mistakes being made where government allocates a lot of money to a single project twice and positive outcome are made. This means the investment government is making are not being taken care of.”
According to Chisi, poor governance by the current Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has drastically widened trade deficit and domestic revenue is falling short because government lacks recovery plan.
The DPP manifesto stated that an in-depth study of the economic crisis would be taken to evaluate if there is a need for a major revamping of foreign exchange and trade policies.
“There is still no policy on the most pressing issue on currency fall and the national debt,” he cited.
Umozi leader further hinted that the government has used a lot of money without substantial results.
The opposition party also questioned initiative of allocating a lion’s share into agriculture sector. He said that despite this, the country has always suffered from hunger.
“I would like to urge the government to work on the economy on a war footing towards achieving our overarching goal of self-reliance . Otherwise we are compromising this cherished goal and undermining the time, effort and the capabilities of our efficient bureaucracy. Although DPP has tirelessly invested in agriculture, hunger has not ended and it will not unless new strategies are taken,” he expressed.