Kamuzu Chibambo labels  Malawi donor dependency ‘chicken mentality’

Opposition Peoples Transformation Party (Petra) president, Kamuzu Chibambo has branded the country’s lust for donor aid as a ‘chicken mentality’, and  has since urged the nation to fully utilize locally available resources if the economy is to transform.

Petera president Kamuzu Chibambo: Time for Malawi to stop relying on aid

Petera president Kamuzu Chibambo: Time for Malawi to stop relying on aid

The local economy continues to sail through troubled waters, and the authorities have started embracing the idea that bilateral donors are not bringing back their budgetary support.

Bilateral donors- who contributed about 40 percent of the country’s budget- closed their aid taps for Malawi in November 2013 following revelations of massive looting of public funds by greedy civil servants and businesses in what is known as the cashgate.

And in a recorded interview with Capital Radio, Chibambo said it was high time Malawians started making better use of locally available resources and stop relying on aid.

“Donor aid is not the answer for Malawi, and this is the message that should be drummed into our people again and again. For me donor aid I take it as a chicken mentality, wanting others to bankroll our living in Malawi. It cannot be; it’s unacceptable,” said Chibambo.

Chibambo said the country has been blessed with resources such as water, minerals and land which, if put into better use, would help to transform the social and economic landscape.

“We need to look at what we have as a country; let’s take full stock of what we have. We need to ask ourselves what are we creating for our country.”

Malawi has been depending on donor aid for decades, however, last year Finance Minister Goodall Gondwe advised the nation to forget the possibility of donors returning with their aid purse, saying the donors were pulling out of a number of countries.

“I would like to emphasize this very strongly. We should not proceed on the premise that the donors will come back with their budgetary support purses. We could have budgetary support from the World Bank, the EU and the African Development Bank but I would have difficulty in proceeding on the basis of expecting that the bilateral donors will come back,” said Gondwe.

He further said expecting donors to come back was not a realistic expectation.

Gondwe noted that mobilizing more resources locally and being efficient by doing more with less were some of the options on the table for the country to operate without donor dependency.

Recently, a University of Malawi’s Chancellor College- based political analyst Dr Boniface Dulani faulted and attributed President Peter Mutharika’s failure to win back budgetary support to his inconsistent position on the issue of donor aid.

Dulani also told Malawi’s flagship daily, The Nation’s Political Index that the country’s economic policies continue to make the nation unattractive investment destination with Malawians heavily squeezed with punitive taxes making domestic savings and investment impossible.

Mutharika has been inconsistent on donor aid. He has been pleading with the donors to reopen the aid taps despite his earlier claims that Malawi does not need aid.

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8 thoughts on “Kamuzu Chibambo labels  Malawi donor dependency ‘chicken mentality’”

  1. Winston Msowoya says:

    By all means,as far as where we are now economically,we can not afford to run our nation independently, the economy is free for all.In fact,no matter how strong the economy might be,it could not survive within the vicious climate of corruption that exists in the government of Peter Mathanyula.it is absolutely foolishness to condemn the donor nations for their outright criticism of the evil Muthalika dynasty.This started when Bingu stole billions of Kwacha some of which went into building a small White House (Ndata) and some stollen funds were used to rig the last election in favour of Peter’s political party.Authentically,the donor nations had all the rights to find out about the whereabouts of the funds.This is when Thom Muthalika atrociously turned against the donor nations vowed to put Malawi on self- propelled economic path.Few months ago,Peter also declared that Malawi would not depend on donor nations for economic aid which was idiotic declaration.Malawi as it is today,it cannot stand on its own for even a second.We must acknowledge the fact that economic prosperity would never come along without political stability.Right now we must admit whether we like it or not,that Malawi is sitting on an active volcano which will one day erupt.No political leader has come out openly to condemn the existing tribalistic trend followed by shameless jealousies on its dangerous path.We are one and Malawi is ours period Why can’t Malawians learn from our Zambian and Tanzanian brothers where tribalism is a cursed demon.So Malawians,whether we like it or not,let’s build trust and love among our people and from there,we shall be able to tackle vigorously our economic turmoil once and for all.I know we can do it,we have the manpower,brains and will.May God help us!!!

  2. william says:

    Bilateral donors are the main agents of suffering in malawi.These so called donations are not donations as u may suggest,they come in with terrible myriad conditions that worsen the country’s affairs the most.Malawi as a sovereign state must cognitively come up with practical strategic ideas on utilization of the resources that we have.Honestly we are below poverty line today not simply because we are inherently intellectually incapacitated but because we are perpetually being exploited by these same donors in many ways.I pledge to fellow malawians particularly the colossi to be honest and transparent when executing govt developmental projects.Let me conquer with late Bingu that Malawi as a country is not poor but the people of malawi are financially poor and not intellectually.We should not find it hard to rescind laws that are parasitic to our country and through that we will excel

  3. FABIANO says:


  4. International Observer says:

    What a suggestion by Mr. Chibambo. The problem we have is that there are so many players who feel are capable of assisting in the running of affairs in government, hence the chaotic situation we are in as a country. The current Minister of Finance once said it, APM once hinted about it but the reaction from the general public plus other opposition leaders was that Malawi cannot do without aid, that the president was out of his senses because he spent most of his time abroad etc. If people embraced the ideas as set out by late Bingu, the country could have been somewhere economically. To day you want a vibrant and ticking economy, how will that come about when Malawi has a long way to go for it to have a productive economy? The government is in the process of bringing in ways and means of turning our products into something profitable by adding value through the Chinese and yet others are busy shouting on top of their voices as far away as the American continent castigating the same; with such mentality how do we progress as a people? Why can’t we leave politicking aside for a while and put our heads together in order to come up with pragmatic solutions towards the predicament we are in? If one doesn’t want to take part in the reparation process and just think of ruling, are they going to rule hungry poverty stricken people, or are they thinking they will turn the economy’s position as easy as flicking a coin? I don’t think so. Those who wish the country well whenever they come up with solutions others come in the wings and shoots down all the effort in the name of their political party – what a sorry nationals they are. Seriously, you think in the manner things have been handled in the past 52 years or so, the economy can bounce into productivity over a night, others take advantage of that to score a political mileage, sure?
    I remember late Bingu saying let us pursue the austerity measures for a certain period and after painful years of persevering we will be a happy nation ever more. He knew what he was preaching and the western world knew it. Because they knew that he was going to succeed they in turn found some stooges they utilised within the country to fight their own government. They achieved their aim, Bingu is dead, now they have presented themselves to the same stooges with a tight fist, proclaiming that aid is not forth coming because of a, b, c, d. Now see who is laughing and who is crying? The next thing we are told is – practice a culture which is very foreign to Malawians. C’mon Malawians, we can reason and think rationally andbetter than this, please?

    1. Fingo says:

      You have written a lot but it’s all nonsense. Number 1 – the Chinese are only interested in extracting primary commodities in Africa for use back in China. Anyone who thinks the Chinese can assist an African country to develop needs his head examined. Number 2 – a serious government cannot fail to carry out its agenda simply because there are many people saying the opposite. DPP got the mandate to govern in 2014 but only God knows what they have chosen to do with that mandate. Number 3 – neither Bingu nor APM know the meaning of austerity. It is one thing to talk about austerity and another to actually practice it. APM has the longest convoy of any leader in the world; and he is spending huge amounts of money each month on “advisers” who do not add any value whatsoever. I could go on and on…

      Number 4 – the West has no interest whatsoever to sabotage Malawi. The GDP of Malawi is a fraction of the total net worth of many billionnaires in the West: In 2013 the nominal GDP of Malawi was US$3.7 billion; in the same year Bill Gates had a net worth of US$87 billion! It is beyond laughable for someone to think that the West would actually want to sabotage Bingu or APM – for what purpose?

      I would agree with Chibambo on the point that we have everything that we need to develop. However, we need to be on good terms with other nations and we ought to observe universal human rights which we signed up to, even if some of them may not be palatable to us – Mozambique decriminalised homosexuality in 2015 and the earth kept on spinning. Above everything else our leaders need to practice austerity and tighten controls over public funds. We cannot keep blaming everyone else for our own failures…

  5. Fraction says:

    Is this new? Bingu said this and he was given 60 days to leave office for telling donors to go to hell among other reasons. Most Malawians now know Bingu was right. Zambezi Water Way has been derided with people calling Bingu names as well as rejoicing at Mozambique’s sabbotaging of the ceremony in Nsanje. What a shame! When this project materializes Malawians will wake up again to appreciate what a visionary Bingu was. I don’t support Chibambo but I do support his idea espoused in this article. With all that massive, systematic and daily siphoning of billions of kwachas from RBM Malawi did not die and we are here albeit with a lot of problems. Can you all imagine how free from donor aid we would be if we did not have this cash-gate nonsense and if all tax-payers money was doing what is intended! We can certainly do without donor aid. We need to change our mind-set, work ethic and regain national both individual and national integrity.

  6. ISSA KABUDULA says:

    The PETRA president woyeeee!!! am on your side in supporting the idea – tell the ILLOVU for only a year to plant maize and rice – that will end hunger for 2 or more years in Malawi. We need radical changes to development. Ulemu and stupid democracy will not assist Malawi which is losing its girls and boys who are leaving the country every 3 hours, and many are dying in their way before their destination. We know this, but we are keeping quiet.

    We need opposition parties which will bring solutions on the table, no blames and we need government which will respond to developmental ideas regardless of who brought them on the table, through this we can develop. I have been saying that if we don’t have anything to export – sell the water to South Africa – South Africa need water and Malawi has been blessed with 5 lakes and many rivers and dying of hunger? (SHAME).

  7. Truck says:


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