Presidential aspirant Dalitso Kabambe
* Chakwera’s government couldn’t even understand the formula on Net International Reserves by accusing the DPP of cooking figures
* Malawi economy is crumbling, the GDP is sluggish, falling with each year, tanking to a paltry 0.9% as of this year
* In 2019 it was at 5.5%. In 2021, it dipped to 1.2%. This year, it is such an uninspiring figure.
* The promise from my campaign is simple — fix the economy, let it serve the people of Malawi
By Duncan Mlanjira
Aspirant for the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), Dalitso Kabambe is using Facebook to critique President Lazarus Chakwera’s administration, saying the Tonse Alliance did not have any idea of the economy and made false promises.
The former Reserve Bank of Malawi Governor contends that the Tonse Alliance “promised shortcuts to prosperity without telling how to get to the promise” and whilst in power, “they realised that it’s not as simple as it looked”.
He maintains that Chakwera’s government “couldn’t even understand the formula on Net International Reserves” by accusing the DPP of cooking figures.
“They went out with stories and persecution,” he said. “The next time someone promises you an economic miracle out of the blues, do not listen to them.
“The promise from my campaign is simple — fix the economy, let it serve the people of Malawi. Mu njira ina: kupitiriza kulongosora chuma paja tinasiyira paja (in other words, continuing where we left off).”
He emphasized that when the DPP retained the Presidency in 2014, “the goal was to stabilise the economy. We had been bruised before then — prices were running north while salaries remained stuck south.
“The goal was stability. You anchor the economy then you start growing it. The path to growth has no shortcuts, musazanamizidwe.”
He adds that from 2019, “the goal was to start reaping from the stability [but] people who don’t have any idea of the economy came with lies.
“Come, join us. The promise is to stabilise this economy and then grow it step by step. Managing an economy is not by sheer luck, it is by taking deliberate steps towards that.
“You minimise domestic borrowing, for example, because you want to leave money for the private sector. When banks have the money, they lend out to the private sector. As the private sector is thriving, it creates jobs.
“You can’t create even a thousand jobs while you are crowding out the private sector and raising interest rates. That is killing jobs.”
In another post, Kabambe “Malawi economy is crumbling, the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is sluggish, falling with each year, tanking to a paltry 0.9% as of this year.
“In 2019 it was at 5.5%. In 2021, it dipped to 1.2%. This year, it is such an uninspiring figure. This is against annual population growth rates of 3.0%.
“What does this mean? Our economy is failing to sustain the livelihoods of Malawians let alone providing for new entrants. Simply put, each passing year since 2020, more and more Malawians are being relegated into the abyss of abject poverty.
“Kids are being born into untold misery and suffering. This government is even robbing a decent standard of living from kids the moment they are born.
“I said this and I would like to repeat: approach elections as investment. The decision you make to support a candidate is you depositing, or stealing from, your own future and that of your loved ones.
“Support capability, commit to merit. You deserve an economy that guarantees your decency and humanity. You deserve an economy that can support your ventures. An economy that guarantees your children a solid future.”
Kabambe’s assertion that managing an economy is not by sheer luck but it is through taking deliberate steps towards that, is also echoed by
Consumer Association of Malawi (CAMA), which says the citizenry is expecting Government “to come up with sustainable multiple sources of generating funds other than over reliance on borrowing or grants in order to have a sustainable smooth and effective economic recovery plan”.
In a statement on Wednesday, November 16, CAMA Executive Director, John Kapito trashed President Chakwera’s announcement of a new funding program under the Global Climate Change campaign — the Carbon Tax Credits — saying this source of funding “is disturbing, humiliating and worrisome for the State President to start promising people about such type of funding towards economic recovery and poverty reduction”.
He said: “It is shocking that Government has failed to identify other sources of funding apart from its pursuit for an International Monetary Fund (IMF) facility. We cannot commit the whole nation to one expensive source of borrowing which will not even recover the economy.”
Kabambe also echoes Kapito on domestic borrowing, who expressed dismay on this trend, saying “Government has resorted to over borrow domestically and from any other source it can find money without any consideration or plans on how such loans will be repaid”.
He went further to say the effects of “such negligent borrowing on poor people such as high inflation is resulting in high prices of goods and services and it’s unfortunate that most of the high debt is as result of Government appetite for non-productive activities that can’t grow or recover the economy”.
Kapito reminded the President that CAMA has on several times appealed to Government “to invite and engage key local stakeholders from all sectors of economy to a national economic recovery conference to discuss and find solutions over the current economic challenges”.
He said that suggestion “has been rejected and the economy continues facing serious challenges with no sign of recovery.
“Surprisingly, during the same period, Government had organized a National Unity Conference “which was another waste of public resources as Unity does not feature anywhere as a challenge affecting Malawians.
“Mr. President, Malawi has a large number of local professionals that if mobilized and involved effectively they can contribute a lot to the recovery of the economy,” Kapito emphasized, adding that there is still an opportunity for Chakwera to reach outside his current advisors, “who are either close friends or family and involve as many Malawians as possible regardless of their affiliations for purposes of recovering this economy.”
All this follows the continued forex scarcity and shortages of key essential commodities like fuel, electricity and food.
Kapito maintains that “Malawians have been patient for a long time and meanwhile the economy continues to get worse with no sign of recovery.
“Malawians are equally frustrated to hear Government talking again about a new International Monetary Fund (IMF) financial support program — which is a doubtful program considering that the first application was rejected.
“In any case, an International Monetary Fund program will economically disadvantage the poor as it comes with expensive and punitive conditions such as devaluation which worsens poverty among people.”