Malawi Kwacha slightly depreciated by by 0.3 against the US dollar in the month of April, Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) figures have shown.
The local currency also had a slight depreciation against currencies of major trading partner 3.6 percent against the British pound, 5.1 percent against the South African Rand and 3.9 percent against the Euro.
The slight depreciation comes despite foreign exchange reserves increasing during the month.
According to Blantyre-based Nico Asset Managers Limited latest monthly economic brief, kwacha closed the month of April at K444.41 against the dollar resulting in a year on year depreciation of the kwacha against the dollar of 11.3 percent in April 2015.
In April 2014, the kwacha closed at K399.19 per dollar, RBM figures show.
“The exchange rate is expected to start appreciating as tobacco proceeds flow into the market,” says the firm.
The opposition and some sections of economists have accused the Peter Mutharika government of “deception” on economy, saying the Kwacha currency appreciation is being manipulated.
“After the free fall of the kwacha in the last half of 2014, it is a known fact that the government manipulated the kwacha in December last year to score cheap political points,” leader of opposition Lazarus Chakwera told parliament.
Chakwera said the artificial appreciation of the Kwacha has hit hard the vast majority of Malawians who are in the agricultural who also happen to be the major foreign exchange earners for the country.
“We all know that farmers bought their inputs expensively at the peak of the kwacha depreciation, come the time to sell their produce, farmers are literally being robbed in broad day light under the force pretext that the kwacha has appreciated,” he pointed out.
Economics Association of Malawi (Ecama) president Henry Kachaje backed Chakwera’s assertions.
“ Maybe let us start measuring our economic growth and development by looking at the people on the ground instead of doing it on the computer Spreadsheet,” he commented.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :