Malawi press highlight economic turmoil: Job cuts, rising living costs

Economic woes dominated daily newspaper headlines in Malawi on Wednesday.

Job cuts: President Mutharika being briefed by Mapeto's Martin Mpata

Job cuts: President Mutharika being briefed by Mapeto’s Martin Mpata

“Inflation leaves Malawians hopeless” and “Mapeto retrenches 300 employees” were the respective headlines on the front page of the flagship The Daily Times newspaper.

The paper reports about 300 job cuts at  the biggest textile making manufacturer in the country, Mapeto DWS, formerly known as David Whitehead and Sons Limited, due to what it says is a difficult economic situation.

Mapeto’s General Manager, Martin Mpata told the paper that most of the employees, who have been laid off, are from the manufacturing, crop purchases and support department in the Manufacturing Department.

Minister of Trade and Industry, Joseph Mwanamvekha, conceded the retrenchment of 300 people is “huge”.

The daily also zeroed in on the rising cost of prices and living with inflation quickening leaving Malawians hopeless, highlighting that government officials are “vague” on how to jump-start the economy.

The paper notes that inflation hovering at 24.90 percent is the highest in the southern Africa.

Quoting executive director of Consumer Association of Malawi (Cama), John Kapito, the paper reports that basic commodities in Malawi have been turned into luxuries.

Kapito does not see a light at the end of the tunnel in the economic turmoil, saying “as times goes by, things will continue to bite.”

He said the stakeholders do not want to be “rational” but approach government “so that it knows the direction we want and at the end of that process should be able to change a few things.”

Civil rights activist, Rafiq Hajat who is executive director for Institute for Policy Interaction (IPI) also told the paper that Malawi is in an “inflation spiral” and that “there’s no end unless we restore the stability of Kwacha.”

Malawi Confederation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (MCCCI) president Newton Kambala is also quoted saying “things will continue getting bad.”

According to paper, civil servants are also demanding salary increase to be in sync with the living conditions.

“Workers in the country are facing tough time to live on the same wage,” said Malawi Congress of Trade Unions (MCTU) secretary Pontius Kalichero.

In its editorial comment, the daily said it’s an appalling situation that “in the face of such a dehumanising experience” the President Peter Mutharika administration has not spelt out “the exact steps it is taking to address the situation in the shortest possible time.”

The paper notes government has only been making admissions of the challenges it is facing and giving assurances “which often have no basis.”

The editorial pointed out that “sound advice” from economic experts has often fallen on “deaf ears.”

President Mutharika recently challenged economists in the country to come up with workable solutions to deal with economic problems of the country than preaching doom.

“Bring forward solutions that would inspire the nation than preaching doom,” said Mutharika.

He said economists should strive to portray the economic situation in a way that inspires not in a way that leaves Malawians hopeless.

Mutharika said his government is set to take the right actions.

“We have no choice but to keep pushing forward peddles of the economy. And we are aggressively pursuing the Public Sector Reforms, including those on Public Finance Management. It is time to make the people trust their government. Give me the right advice, and I will give you the right decisions. Give us the best advice, and we will take the best of the actions. In that collective spirit, Malawi cannot fail,” said Mutharika.

“The economic reality is not as bad as some people want us believe,” he indicated.

But the paper said government should consult stakeholders such as Economists Association of Malawi, MCCCI and CAMA to have a route map in the recovery of the ailing economy.

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mk9
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mk9
7 months 10 days ago

chilimba the so called vice president will answer this. Mr saulosi chilima repent I’m nt judging you but remember their is GOD

..

CHEWA FEDERAL FRONT
Guest
CHEWA FEDERAL FRONT
7 months 15 days ago
This is very funny, if not pathetic. The president wants advice from you so that he can make a “right” decision? Ahh!!! He then caps it up with an out-of-touch statement, “The economic reality is not as bad as some people want us believe”.!!! Now, from which sewer lines did he harvest that compost? DWS sheds 300 jobs, PTC closes 20 stores, other companies are retrenching, all banks are reporting heavy losses,..er.., and APM says it’s “not bad”. This is a CRISIS, Mr President!!! Incidentally, some clowns have been making a jando-m’bwiza prediction that Chakwera will “never rule this country”.… Read more »
Winston Msowoya
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Winston Msowoya
7 months 15 days ago
As far as Peter and his cronies are in power,Malawians have to live with the present trend.To say the truth,Muthalika has nothing to care or to loose,him and his late brother Bingu had a hidden agenda when they finally came into Malawi hiding their claws and Bakili Muluzi was stupid enough to carry a load he did not check first,here we are,we are in it for a long haul.If Malawians were intelligent enough,they could have taken something from what he said when he was in New York.If you have forgotten,let me remind you, he said,” I have a fat account… Read more »
Andy Hakunamatata Phirilathu
Guest
Andy Hakunamatata Phirilathu
7 months 15 days ago

This DPP stinks.

sd
Guest
sd
7 months 15 days ago

Be patriotic Malawians. Don’t let ur frustrations on evrythng to the govt koz the party u voted for lost elections. Running a country on zero aid is a tough task considering cashgate but this govt has held on! Wat is left is for Malawians to suport it thru patriotism not crying like babies u opposition supporters! Wait til 2019&try ur luck. Ofkoz being on a losing side hurts especialy where u hav to wait4 five yrs BUT that doesn’t change u from being Malawian. So be patriotic azimwale

Solobala
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Solobala
7 months 15 days ago

Shortly dziko ili titseka. Our leaders are clueless on how to end these problems. They better resign honorably before they arepushed.

thom
Guest
thom
7 months 15 days ago

By the time we reach 2019 we Malawi still have a economy we are heading towards a failed state like Somalia. We cannot wait there is a vote of no confidence in this government they have miserably failed to run the economy.

sam
Guest
sam
7 months 15 days ago

The problem sthe kwacha freefall, Our governor Chuka is obsessed with higher forex reserves so he is in Good terms with IMF so when he retires from Reserve bank he gets a job with World bank or IMF. He will be seen by IMF as obedient and who blindly follows there terms and conditions. This impact of kwacha depreciation is hurting Malaiwans and Chuka and Goodall are currently the 2 most hated people in Malawi, as they are responsible for making malawians poorer and poorer

BOKHO
Guest
BOKHO
7 months 15 days ago

Every one pushes the blame to someone. Very irresponsible govt. Bakili messed this country by choosing Lhomwes to lead the country into doom who matchona without any leadership. Malawians do not want these people to rule this country but they are forced to do so that is why we are in trouble now.Look there is no one in control of this country. How can a minister appoint an envoy to Geneva without President. You will answer all these atrocities you are committing now one day.

Master
Guest
Master
7 months 15 days ago

why do we revolve every year in circles? this is purely leadership problem, it seems to me that since Kamuzu Bnada left, we have failed to find right replacements to take this country further, what a shame , why do politicians kill this country thus way? why is this country at ransom that way 52 yrs down the independence time? this country is sick and kenneth kaunda was right when he said kAMUZU BANDA was ruling dead people!!!! we are indeed dead, docile, dull society!!

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