Malawi Kwacha hits all-time low: K520 to dollar

The Malawi Kwacha currency hashit the record low against the dollar as commercial banks quoted the local currency K520 per  dollar, a loss of about 20 percent within two month.



According to official figures provided by the Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM, two months ago the kwacha was selling at K412 to the dollar, just before the closure of the tobacco marketing season in September this year, to about K488.

Traders fear the Kwacha will be  ceding  further to major international currencies.

An economic expert Dr Thomas Munthali said Malawians should brace for “tough times ahead.”

“There are no signs that the Kwacha will start to appreciate any sooner and because of that prices of goods and services will continue to go up,” stated Munthali.

Small and Medium Enterprises Association (Smea) president James Chiutsi has lamented that the loss of the kwacha is threatening small businesses.

“SMEs import small machinery and materials and due to the fall of the kwacha, we are failing to buy these and grow our businesses. We would like to ask government to do what it can to ensure that the kwacha stabilises,” said Chiutsi as quoted by The Nation newspaper.

RBM Governor Charles Chuka downplayed the whingeing on weakening of kwacha against other major foreign currencies.

“There is no news that the kwacha is depreciating, because we were expecting it anyway. The country still has not managed to diversify its sources of forex,” Chuka was quoted by Business News recently.

“If exporters get the right price for their dollars, they can invest more in exports. If we continue to worry about consumers like you and me and traders, then we are missing the point,” he added.

Already prices of commodities in local markets are going up and cash-strapped Malawi should brace for more torrid times as fuel prices are expected to follow suit.

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48 thoughts on “Malawi Kwacha hits all-time low: K520 to dollar”

  1. zondeni says:

    Thats what we will experience for the next five years zopusa basi, sorry for you my brother and sister tisovaaaa! anzathu makobidi sinkhani ndikunena pano a kututuratu kuchalira kutuluka mboma 2019

  2. Ulemu says:

    On average a min of USD 5 million is traded everyday in Malawi. Forex is held by mostly four banks National Bank, Standard Bank, FMB and NBS Bank. The other banks don’t have much forex deposits so they offer crazy prices to buy forex from customers holding accounts at the 4 banks. Some greedy NGOs take advantage of this and they actually auction their dollars to the highest bidder, hence pushing the dollar rate up and up. Chuka’s is to control and police the banks and not to flush the market with dollars.

  3. chatty man says:

    Till it hit the ground!

  4. Makito says:

    I cant believe Chuka could say what he said. Since when did exports in Malawi become so responsive to the exchange rate changes? What is the composition of the imported intermediate goods in the overall production in the country? Is the current account at the moment improving or worsening? A Chuka, avoid politics as you will soon be regarded as incompetent.

  5. Alfred Munduwabo says:

    The problem we have is that most of the exports made the Reserve Bank of Malawi does not receive the proceeds and normally people who export our agriculture produces are foreigners and it’s one way of taking the foreign currency out of Malawi. The other way is that they bring the hard foreign currency back to Malawi in their bags and they exchange it on the black market in order to make more money and they still make more exports by using Malawians.

  6. kamphulusa says:

    Musalire A Malawi izi ndi zifuna ndipo muvutika mpakana 92 billioni inabedwa nthawi ya Bingu itabwezedwa. Ndipo mukapitiliza kusankha atsogoleri olakwika Mulungu akufulatirani ndipo mubvutika kwambiri. Satana wakhalira atsogoleri a ku Malawi. We need God’s own intervention for Malawi to prosper

  7. mpopoma says:

    I Will not hésitate to call a président a failure and not ready for the job. Indeed very full. People l’île chuka should not work at rbm. He Is a papet and stupid. Betraying his profession at the expense Malawianz.shupit

  8. David says:

    This is Chuka. When he took over forex operations at RBM during the reign of Bakili as a director he adopted free foreign exchange regime when Kwacha to Dollar was at four. Six months down the line the kwacha was at 45. A year later it was 115 and Bakili felt betrayed and he fired him. This governor will not help Peter, will not help this government. The best is to fire him. Of course he is a Mlakho and it will be very difficult to do so.

  9. Chipani says:

    I thought Bingu Daniel Phiri was totally against devaluation/depreciation whatever you call it? Why doent the sibbling follow suit?

  10. Masharubu says:

    Good politics makes for good economics, and vice versa . Someone says the only notable thing APM’s govt has done is kulowetsa ufumu wa Ngolongoliwa , kikiki .

  11. wg says:

    Chisiru chenicheni

  12. Asylum seeker says:

    Two weeks ago the Governer of the Reserve Bank of Malawi ( Mr Tchuka) told us not to panic, it’s on record!

  13. Dr. Mango says:

    Comment Number 16, has told the truth. The individual has written about the reality of the situation of our country. If we start by any chance exporting more than what we import, our economy will improve. We need to diversify our exports. SIMPLE. THIS IS NOT ASSOCIATED WITH DPP OR APM per se. Let us think with sober mind. Do not call each othet ‘mbuzi’ or ‘agalu’. Remembet, we are all God’s creatures.

    1. curious says:

      This is true but someone has to take the lead and put in place measures and policies to ensure that the country exports more not just making political podium statements to that effect. Now do you expect a Malawian from Marka to do this? Why do we elect leaders then?

  14. saidi says:

    #16, mbuzi yeni yeni

  15. Mwapwiya says:

    We Malawians will never learn. Our mind set is what is letting us down. How can one say that no matter what, a president should come from the South at all costs? We lost a very good opportunity of choosing a leader who could stand for us all. Once beaten twice shy.

  16. Asylum seeker says:

    What do the “technocrats” have to say now! it’s only been six months. At this rate we will be in deep shit by 2019.

  17. Malawian says:

    If we think and act like number 16, Malawi will never develop! It is not ‘natural’ that our economy should be bad. Statements like the one from number 16 usually come from people who support leaders blindly, just because of some other factors, usually tribalism. It is true that currently we import more than what we export hence we have foreign currency shortages. What is also true is that it is possible to reverse this trend only if we can have a leader who can be able to guide us through that process. In Malawi we dont need leaders who are just good at reversing previous regimes’ policies, firing people who were employed by the previous government and re employing those who were fired by the previous government.

    As Malawians let us learn to embrace merit in everything that we do without looking at tribes. From party level, let the best candidates come out who should then compete with the best from other parties. We will then be assured of having the best leaders at all times who will help to develop this country fast enough because we have wasted about twenty years as most of the few things that we have now were built during Kamuzu’s regime.

  18. amankoydum says:

    Anthu inuuuu!!!!Pitala za samasanza ndalama;mumphunzire ku peleka misonkho mosanyalanyaza….komanso zomanyoza atsogole si solution…kumakhala ndi ulemu Agalu inu!!!

    1. JESPAS says:

      Inuuu, asakupereka msonkho ndani? Mesa ma salary tikulandilawa amakhala odulidwa kale msonkho. mu ma sitolonso misonkho amadula asanatifunse. Ndiye misonkho yake yiti mukufuna inu. komanso misonkho singabweretse forex . Clueless DPP.

  19. Sam says:

    Enemies of the country are, The forex delaers of all banks, they want to make money for the bank, these lot and Chuka are the most unpatriotic people in Malawi they should be ashamed of themselves dont call yourself malawians you greedy people. You understand what does devualtion impact mean, poor people cannot buy drugs, cannot afford basics, school fees, you just want promotions and selling these country to these whites.

    Why follows floatation when IMF or any donor is not giving any donor support, i think Chuka is favouring all commercial banks as they, are making millions out of poor malawians.

  20. ben says:

    JB was better, the kwacha was not devaluing like this, ti afa njala this is torcher

    1. Inu says:

      It does not mean JB was better, only that at that time donor aid was cushioning the effects of the lean season. What is happening now is the true reflection of the Malawi economy without donor inflows. It is an opportunity for Malawians to develop sectors that develop this country.

  21. Chilungamo Chimawawa says:

    I told you that Peter Mutharika can’t run the country. He has no experience in running government affairs. Do you remember that he totally failed his previous job as minister of Education and justice minister. So if someone fails to run a ministry do you expect him to run the whole country. I think Malawian have no confidence in this idiot. He must go back to USA else must go and farm at Ndata in Thyolo

  22. Ebola says:

    Mutharkap ameneyu ukala unadzadza mthupi mwake sakuziwa chimene akuchita. ofunika akampope abo biiIiiii !

  23. Mphangala says:

    Bola amayi ndithu. look at the rates a waterboard mmene akwezera.

  24. Ngongoliwa says:

    Mumanyoza a mai nanga ichi ndi chiani abale? Malonjezo aja ndiye alikuti agaru inu? Mwapweteka a Malawi mayo! Nanga mukamatha chaka? Musatikumbutse za 2012 abale. A big lesson to Malawians.

  25. tsetsefly says:

    Did I not say one other time that this old man knows nothing about running govt affairs? Maybe you guys understand what he says. I strangle a lot to understand anything be it in English, Chichewa or Chilhomwe. How then would you expect such a man to motivate the population? What I see is a tough situation that we have never experienced before. But after all I am not surprised. Is he not from the Diesel Petrol Palibe party, masters of economic mismanagement. No wonder the donors you rely on have described treasury as a vessel with holes all over. Any sane person can not put water in such a vessel.

  26. chipe chirye says:

    nanga a pitala akutipo bwanji….. mwatima demo sachitikanso apa,,,,, bola aunt joy omwe aja

  27. economist says:

    Don’t just comment here for the sake of commenting. That is the real liberalization of the financial market the world has been talking about. During Kamuzus time he just dictated the exchange rates, its not that the economy was better than now. Muluzi tried to free the kwacha and you cried. Bingu came and dictated the rates like Kamuzu and you said we are having a fake currency. Amai devalued the same Kwacha and you hated her. Now APM has left the financial dynamics in the hands of financial experts and you are calling for him to intervene. What do you want fellow Malawians? Never be cheated. The economy of Malawi has never and will never be good. We do not produce much for export but we consume a lot . Never be fooled, Kamuzu was just dictating that I want kwacha to be at par with US Dollar etc like what happens in Botswana and other African countries. Ask those in the know, its only that politics plays too much in this game

    1. chitipa wenya says:

      Choka iwe takudziwa ndiwe amene ukulandila ndalama mma dollars from peter, ungamaikile kumbuyo zonyasa, a Malawitu akuzunzika mmidzi iwe ukudya maphwando aulele bola anthu asakudziwe koma akakudziwa kaya?

  28. fisi Gammar says:

    Ntchito kulowetsa ufumu wangongoliwa sangakambepo nkhani ya ulimi mundanso alibe azungu anawalanda kalekale

  29. CB says:

    dziko ndilimeneli bwana profesa,,onetsani sch yanu pamenepa,,kaliyati,ukuti bwanji pamenepa,,dpp woyeee,,ee,,,

  30. Tengupenya says:

    Tiyambepo kuphunzira kupalasa njinga.

  31. Clement says:


  32. Patriot says:

    And this is happening under the wise and dynamic leadership of the Law Professor from America kikikiki
    Passport ndi iyi yakwerayi

    1. Clement says:


  33. winston chigulu says:

    Very worrysome to all malawians we had hoped stable kwacha but today…..mmmm waiting in vain

  34. Boza twoboo says:

    Kaya fuel uja sayambatso kusowa,,,remeber Diesel Petrol Palibe DPP

    1. Inu says:

      there will always be fuel as long as the Kwacha is freely floating. Managing the kwacah politically is what can make the fuel to become unavailable. This is not a political is an economic issue and as long as we politicize it, then we are not going to find real solutions.

  35. fisi Gammar says:

    Ntchito za DPP Kuchitira ulemu wake

  36. Petros says:

    Masankhasankha chifukwa cha mtundu mwatipweteketsa

  37. Mayibabaye!!, maiwawaye!!, tchyweecherere!! Agogo mwee!! These will be the chorus’s of the time. We are yet to see things!!

  38. chemboma says:

    just warning in december 650mk to one dollar / january 750mk, our money is rubbish

  39. Mtaya says:

    Fruits of the DPP Government.The kwacha lost value during the reign of Late Moya Bingu .Now its his brother, same things will happen.Malawi will face tough time a head.Time to que for fuel is coming again no dought about it.

  40. JB says:

    Dzikoli lili manja mwa agalu

  41. when our currency will be stable? Please u have to try

  42. DANIEL PHIRI says:

    come December, there will be no Fuel.

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