Malawians offers solutions on economic turmoil, reforms

Malawian citizens have expressed their views on the current economic recession and public service reforms arguing that if the country is to change then the change should begin with the highest office in the land and trickling down to ministers.

Bwalo la Mzika

Bwalo la Mzika

The sentiments were expressed during a public debate called Bwalo la Nzika which was organised by Citizen Alliance in partnership with State of the Union (SOTU) for citizens to participate in generating solutions and actions to fix the economy.

The organisers observed that Malawi economy is in deep recession hugely affecting social service delivery and frustrating efforts towards sustained growth.

“Majority of Malawians are still trapped in poverty with millions facing hunger. However, Malawi has the potential to develop and economically liberate millions trapped in poverty,” said Philip Kamwangira Publicity Secretary of Citizens Alliance.

Speaking at the debate , economy watchdog MEJN director Dalitso Kubalasa observed that if the country has to have meaningful reforms should start from the presidency down to ministers by trimming unnecessary allowances and cut their take home packages other than overburden the citizens.

“The mid term budget review will give the opportunity to the leadership of this country to show that they are also part of the citizenry by trimming their fuel allowances and other benefits to match the austerity drive being undertaken,” observed Kubalasa who was speaking in his capacity as a citizen.

He further argued that ministers should trim their fuel allowances from 1000litres to say 500litres and other benefits taking into consideration that International Monetary Fund declaration that our economy is off track.

“This is the time to show and test leadership. The burden should not only be brought to bear on the already overburdened citizens who are overtaxed and yet the leaders enjoy tax free benefits,” argued Kubalasa.

Felix Jumbe, who also participated as a citizen, said the public service reforms should start from the highest office of the land and it should well be articulated by defining the core function analysis.

“Malawians have the potential to develop and economically liberate themselves from poverty if government can find means of wealthy creation to its citizens. On public service reforms the government should come out clearly on what it wants to achieve and involve the citizens in every step. Otherwise are the reforming or deforming?,” wondered Jumbe.

On his part Kamwangira said his organisation took the opportunity to gather views from the citizens which will be consolidated for policy engagement with government so that the citizens should hold their government accountable.

“We are concerned that Malawians are overburdened by taxes on the little packages while the highest paid officials enjoy tax free benefits. Somehow this is not adding up,” said Kamwangira.

Bwalo la Nzika is a non partisan forum for citizens to participate in generating solutions and actions to fix Malawi’s ailing economy and other social issues.

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39 thoughts on “Malawians offers solutions on economic turmoil, reforms”

  1. chonchobe says:

    All the youth idling, thieving and stealing in the cities could be recruited to manage the greenbelt program( some kind of youth empowerment) for a little wage. This should be coupled with the reintroduction of young pioneers program. unemployment level will reduce, uhule will drop, umbava will drop, Malawi will become food sufficient and export some for earning the money needed forex.

    other countries across have introduced road toll charges when entering or exiting main cities including airports whether you park there or you are just dropping a passenger. Why is Malawi not exploiting some of these initiatives? Malawians are used to too many free services. And we have land lord, numerous of them all over the country getting billions of tax free money in form of rentals. Can MRA (Government ) come up with a registration system to track down these landlord so that they also pay income tax?

    Can somebody enlighten me on minibus taxes if they pay any. Imagine the thousands and thousands of minibuses prying on the roads of Malawi ( on average a minibus operating in cities makes an average of K15,000 per day after expenses translating to K450,000 per month. if the minibus owners were paying an average of 30 percent of income tax on this money, how much would government realize? if all these and what others have suggested were tried and PEOPLE in GOVERNMENT STOPPED STEALING Malawi would not be the same. somebody confided in me sometime back that Malawi makes a lot of money to fully sustain its programs and expenditures and may not require donor support. But we have a BIG PROBLEM. Lack of INTEGRITY by the whole Government machinery. That’s why we are in this deep shit!. Integrity should start from the top. I need to remind one GOVERNENT CEO that Integrity is doing something right when no one is seeing you. Can we try it?

  2. Vwapuvwapu says:

    Yea, kkkkkkk

  3. Patson says:

    Every body must pay tax from President below if we love this country there is no reason for one not to pay PAYE.10%to30% our august house should pass this bill.

  4. malawi view says:

    first, l support reforms 100%.thanks 4 idea that every dept, sector or office be reformed,probably thats a course.this is huge task & on going so 4 a start l feel is ok. suggesting-president’s office first;his powers reduced,ministers’s fuel allocation down by 50% & that way ONLY not otherwise kkk its unfortunate later will b subotage,current path its deforming not reforming kkk thus emotional & political ether. CSOs do u want to stire violence? reforms has casioties eveywhere, & country shouldn’t b a sucrifice. CSOs lets caution the reform machinary about welfare of the casioties that can b noble role to take unlike blocking reform coz there no returning back.lets learn to put our country first,atleast obelekafe.this ine,ife & sanganditelo, tiona syndlome is pulling this country down.kkk l guess! opposition soon joins CSOs to block reforms kkk unpatrotic & desparate parties. PAIN TO US TODAY,SWEET FOR OUR CHILDREN TOMORROW . l beg say, yes!

  5. levelheaded says:

    Iwe mtumbuka wa Ku mtchenachena kwawo kwa vinthu mfumbenge” Mundango Nyirenda” we say malawian offers or Malawians offer and not Malawians offers. Heeeeish!

  6. Umodzi umodzi says:

    The solution is that APM should refund MK577 billion he store during his brother’s reign. Peter anaba ndalama zija kuti achitire campeni mu 2014. So for Malawi to revive its economy three things should be done:
    1. Peter should refund the money for our country is to revive its economy.
    2. Peter must resign
    3. Peter must be arrested for the atrocities he has committed to Malawians without drugs in hospitals.

  7. mulopwana says:

    I have a suggestion, many of us think of what other should do to improve the economy and not what individually should be done to improve the economy. It has reached a point that individuals should consider options so as to stay afloat and survive and not what APM should do.

    We are so full of dependent of employment and not creating opportunities for us to offer employment at the same time improve our livelyhood and our economy. Our training and school did us even worse because it is focused on the graduates to be employed and not that they should employ pple.

    Further, we consider a net income of MK10,000.00 per day as so little that we can not undertake investments in such field.

    Lets leave APM (I DONT SUPPORT HIM ANYWAY AND STILL DOUBT IF WE HAVE LEADERSHIP) and say i will do the following to improve our economy.

    I rest my case.

  8. KALUMADAZI says:

    anthu oputsa nonsenu…Mulibe manyazi instead of kukambilana how to develop the country through entrepreneurship and improving our parastatals and quality education..mukakambilana zotsitsa malipilo a ma minister, nde if the ministers get peanuts like you, how will they be motivated to work their hearts off for this self imposed curse of a country.Nonse mmene mwakhalira pamenepo ndinu zitselekwete, a nansongole a chabechabe..thius habbit of working against the gorvernment of the day instead of providing tangible solutions is unpatriotic and our very undoing…please move on from thsi stupidity

  9. benjnes says:

    WE JUST NEED TO REMOVE ALL POLITICIANS WHO ARE MILKING OUR COUNTRY FROM UDF, DPP, PP AND NOW DPP AGAIN ENOUGH IS ENOUGH. WE NEED CIVIL STIKE STOP REVENUE FOR GOVERNMENT MAYBE WE CAN BRING CHANGE OR ELSE FORGET IT THESE PEOPLE ARE CRIMINALS HAVE A HEART OF STONE WHICH WILL NEVER MELT.

  10. YAKI says:

    you people are just brain washed, your comments are just full of hate, proposals for change are target to a person so what kind of educated guys do we have in a country? this country will never develop full of jealousy and power hungry thats why we are different from the whites. Azungu adzalamulenso mwina tingatukuke

  11. Rus-san says:

    Dear Bwalo la Nzika and Fellow Malawians,

    Thank you for having that initiative to discuss possible solutions for the country.

    I partially agree with what you are suggesting. I howeve feel that a holistic approach would be more benefitial than what you are suggesting. Why? Let me briefly explain and ask questions:

    1. Why are you only advocating for top-down (up-bottom) approach i.e. the president/ministers and other top officials to reduce expenditure?

    2. What happens to all of us? Should we continue squandering monies and allowances?

    3. If we say the president must start – dont you think the president can not learn from the bottom i.e ppl who have influence (eg Dalitso Kubalasa yo) and those occupying small and medium positions?

    4. Imagine what do you think would have happened if during your meeting all the key pple who were available said we are sacrificing our allowancse (i.e cutting it down by half as you proposed for the president and ministers)? Imagine Hon Felix Jumbe, Phillip Kamwangira, MEJN Director Dalitso Kubalasa and including the writer of this article (M. Ndirenda) onse akananena kuti ife tikuyambitsa pano – cut our salaries or allowances by half. We want to show example to the President and entire nation.

    Thats what we would call bottom-up approach.

    We need collective responsibility for our nation to develop not just pointing at leaders evertime when something goes wrong. Peter or if we are to hire Obama, he can change things alone.

    5. How many of these Opp parties, CSOs, NGOs and all these pple who are activists have advocated some other national agenda e.g. waste management (by BEAM), chasing iddle pple in town, demolishing old and dirty houses in town, civil services reforms. imagine Munthu wabwinobwino ku choka ku mudzi kuthawira mtauni ku makagulitsa colgate mmodzi the whole day and then steal people’s property in town, and then police says we will chase all these pple. How many of these political parrties, CSOs and NGOs have ever supported such iniiatives? We politisise, regionalise everthing.

    6. I can recommend that we should learn how Japanese work and ethically do their things.

    Finally, a small hint and suggestion. Let us give ourselves a year or two and as a nation we should unite all CSOs, NGOs and political parties and Govenerment should work together for a year/two advancing national agenda. Ndiye chikatha chakacho tidzalifunse boma kuti how are things? Apo bii tizingokangana komanso kumangolozana zala. Lets work like ants pushing or pulling food to one direction – not the way we are doing – we are pulling and pushing things to different directions. We cant develop – tipitilirabe kumangopempha ngati a misala – pamene azathu mayiko ena akutuka.

    Thank you.

  12. Chithabwa says:

    Its a management crisis not an economic crisis.Malawi is of natural resources for example.We have fresh water that can carter irrigation year round,but one wonders that even lake shore districts are experiencing hunger.

  13. botomani says:

    1000 litres is the worst office abuse. where do they go with that amount in litres? Roughly that can cover more than 100,000 km.

  14. Stampycious says:

    Zimenezi zitheke bas

  15. munyapa says:

    myopic thinking. too obessessed with politics and capital hill. So after trimming down the 1000 litres to 500 litres do you think Malawi will be liberated? I thought your so called solutions would go beyond this?

  16. Peter27 says:

    APM wanted answers/ solutions, lets see if he will apply them..

  17. Truth says:

    Stupidity, the whole meeting was focused on reducing govt leadership benefits amidst a mountain of all these key challenges facing Malawi? Crap a waste of donor resources if any, we need a holistic approaches to development and not these piece meals. Besides, the problem is not exclusively leadership. How how long are going to keep blaming leaders. In Europe,Americas Asia and elsewhere it was the citizens that took action to ensure that leaders deliver citizens’ wishes and not vice versa. Malawians as citizens need also to be part of this change, don’t just expect the leadership alone. We as citizens also seem to be visionless, mediocre and narrow minded. A good example is this forum of looking at serious development issues from a narrow perspective and how we choose leaders based on tribal lines than substance. Yes, Mutharika may be a failure depending on how so far he has performed but trust me even if you bring in another person say Chakwera today he is likely to fail too until Malawians as citizens stop looking at leaders as gods responsible for everything even feeding them through handouts etc. Let the citizens take part in doing something for Malawi and not just waiting from govt to do everything. Leaders will not save Malawi, Malawians will save Malawi. From Kamuzu, Bakili, Bingu,JB, and now APM all of these failed because we made them think they are gods and unaccountable to the people they serve. Come new people they will inherit hat stinking culture of mediocrity that defines Malawi and its people. Let’s change our mindset as citizens then our politicians will start respecting and serving us the citizens and not vice versa.

    1. Msewu wa Boma says:

      The truth of the matter is that although the leadership (APM) does not pay tax or generate foreign exchange, it has enormous authority on how these should be utilised. This is why change should start with APM, otherwise all the hard work of long suffering Malawians will just continue going down the drain.

      When APM decided to hire a jet and to take many junior state house employees and three chiefs to New York, he carelessly squandered taxes and forex which could have been put to better use to develop this country.

      APM can not live in fantasy land playing God with the fruits of the sweat of ordinary Malawians. When he talks arrogantly about respect to be accorded to his office he should consider that that respect should come at a reasonable price for the poor Malawian. There is a lot that APM has to answer for – for instance why does he think it is alright for a poor country to maintain a large number of state residencies? Has he ever considered the modest living arrangements of leaders of developed countries? The USA, as big as it is, has 2 state residencies only: The White House (main residence) and Camp David (holiday retreat)

  18. Pat says:

    Kkkkk, this just shows that what the government is doing, is the only solution to the problems. So lets work together with the govt. You mean debate ndi debate solution yokwezera Malawi, kapena kuti kulemeletsera malawi kukhale kupanga trim ma allowance basi? Shallow thinkers who make noise for nothing!!

  19. Counter Attack says:

    Honestly, the country seems to be messed up starting from the constitution itself. I have always wondered how every president who comes into power in Malawi automatically becomes the CEO of the Reserve Bank, MRA other parastatals including Escom and many more. Why is it possible that the president can instruct the RBM to give him so much for his trips abroad? Is it not the duty of the MPs to approve or disapprove some of these demands instead of the president getting things his way? Now we all wonder how the money is siphoned from our coffers like we don’t see what is happening. Countries elect presidents to serve the masses but it looks like in Malawi we elect someone to build his own Empire right in our eyes. Where is the constitution that limits the powers of the elected officials. Honestly, the words that do not apply in the Arms of the Government of Malawi are ” Checks and Balances”.

  20. akuntinji anamuona says:

    I think Malawians we have a big problem. Eeh ife a Malawi sitizatheka basi. Palibe munthu amene wayakhula chanzeru. Mzimu wakuti awo apange zakuti ndi womwe sungatithandize. Anthu amene mukuti wakuti apanga zakuti mukulephera kwambiri chifukwa dzala folo dzimaloza inu. Mumangoyenerma kuyakha zomwe inuyo mutachite kuthandiza Malawi. You have 80% you can contribute to change our economy. Amene mukuwalozawo 20%. So you have a bigger role to play rather than where you are pointing your fingers. Please let’s remove. Spirit yodalira ena kuti atipangire zinthu chifukwa zimenezo ndi zomwezo zikukanikazo.

  21. nyapapi says:

    Mmbuzzi, even iwowa alandira ALLOWANCE for this crap!!!!! Can someone quantify the magnitude and effect of allowances in our economy please? I know majority of houses in Malawi are built by allowance income, which to me is a welcome development. Economy siiikwera ndi mau pakamwaaaa, ati policy papers, worksops, ayiiii. Economy grows by implementation of those policies and talks. You can talk , economy is in tatters we need to export more, etc, etc, the question is Who is to Export? Who is to Manufacture export quality products? Who is to earn Dollars? In Malawi we are all dull, we are all clever at pointing fingures to GOVERNMENT, not ourselves or private sector. We forget we are in a capitalist economy where private individuals produce not COMMUNIST where government produce. So We must blame ourselves as private sector who are responsible for production, not Government. US economy is driven by private sector talk of private companies like APPLE, BOEING, MICROSOFT, HP,WALMAT, HILTON, ORACLE, DELL,CITICORP,FORD etc are all owned and started by individuals, without a single cent from Govt. These are the ones that make dollar strong, its individuals. American govt is rich coz of enormous taxes they collect from these giants and is able to have excess to donate to stupid NGOs to be fighting the their governments, preventing from focussing on competitive production. In Germany, VW, MERCEDES, AUDI,MAN BOSCH, all individuals, and government depends on them, whereas here, the thinking is complete opposite. We think Malawi government will produce APPLE 10 and proceeds shared to all of us. Usiiiruuuuu. Leave government alone. Focus on improving and growing economy on our own without government, otherwise youill become so poor and GAY to earn a living. Zausiru. Allowance ikhale nkhani? Azungu anuwo amapereka kwa galu allowance, inu mpaka conference….shaaaa

  22. Dumerang says:

    WE JUST NEED NEW BLOOD IN THE WHOLE POLITICAL SYSTEM. ZOMWE ZILIPO PANO ZONSE NDI MPHWEPWA. DEMETIIIIIIII ZANUUUUUUU IYAAAAAAAA

  23. Corruption says:

    You so called citizen, why do you seem to have no eyes in your own homeland. Are you visitors in Malawi? This beheaded leader is leading a bunch of corrupt fellows (cashgate) in government. This has scared all donors and this is the reason Malawi is every day sinking into the deepest waters. Good luck citizens. So you think 500litres X20 ministers X 723 per month will bring Malawi economy back?. Useless.

  24. Edward Chileka-Banda says:

    Citizen participation is a good development.

  25. mfana wa ma plain says:

    is that the best you could come up with? the best solution to economic recovery is job creation basi. there are too many young men and women with absolutely nothing to do so they just become drunkards and prostitutes.

    start with a basic youth service. round up all these satchet boys and stereo club hules, register them, put them in uniforms and have them clean our cities, towns rivers and lakes, fix broken down bridges, sidewalks and drains, make them paint and decorate buildings etc etc for a small ganyu fee.

    outlaw consumption of alcohol before 5pm, attach some youths to the police and army to teach them responsibility, restart the young pioneers movement, the solutions are endless….

  26. nick says:

    I like the look of this Citizens’ Alliance and its non-partisan forum — BUT is it one of Malawi’s many many NGOs which disappear as quickly as they appear? It is much needed in Malawi but what is its address? Will it have continuity? Or will we have to go on listening to empty politicians like APM who believes (in press-conferences) that the MK has a “natural value” and JB who thinks (in the USA) that government is a “love-affair” with the people? Someone must think properly.

  27. mula says:

    The more APM leads this nation to hell,the closer the time will be for the Good Lord to do what’s best for us like the way He did some year back in the month of April.

  28. Truck says:

    ALL THESE PROBLEMS ARE COMING BECAUSE OF CASHGATE THE GOVERNMENT IS FAILING TO CONFISCATE CASHGATE PROPERIES AND SELL THEM AND PUT BACK IN GOVERNMENT HOW DO YOU EXPECT DONORS TO RESUME AID WHILE YOU GOT LOTS OF MONEY STUCK WITH CASHGATE PEOPLE IF YOU DONT CONFISCATE CASHGATE PROPERTIES MALAWI WILL CONTINUE SUFFERING ECONOMICALLY.ACT NOW TO AVOID THE ECONOMY TO BE WORSE.

  29. Dunderheads says:

    Joyce reduced her package when things were not ok economically. Peter may emulate that example if he’s serious. But he can’t yet he is a multi millionaire as he tells the nation & the world.
    The money you still will shortly choke you up. Tavutika to get democracy in Malawi, these dunderheads were not there today they call us all sorts of names……mufa imfa yowawa

  30. Mlauzi says:

    Even 500mlitres a month – a reduction from the current 1000 litres per month will still be on the higher side. Reduce it further to 300 litres per month. With the multiplier effect such a reduction will result into substantial savings. They will still be able to travel. The cuts should be cross cutting and not just a certain group only. During JB`s time salaries for her and her deputy were reduced. APM should do the same and more. Desperate times call for desperate measures

  31. Alex Likoswe says:

    So, the solution is cutting allowance. Stupid. We need a holistic approach to the challenges. Not piece meal

    1. GPMG says:

      The holistic approach you are talking about will have to start with something. As Confucius said “the journey of a thousand miles starts with one step”. Cutting fuel allowances to 500 or even 300 litres for ministers will be one HUGE step. It will show commitment to look at other areas of waste.

      The Executive has to realise that they are in the driving seat. This country will not move forward as long as the Executive feel that they are entitled to their obscenely wasteful ways. Failure to cut down on executive waste (presidential convoy, state residencies, executive allowances, trips, fuel allowances, other executive benefits, presidential advisers, etc) is what I would being stupid…

  32. mtumbuka1 says:

    It’s a welcome development since Malawian president is still sleeping and nobody knows the whereabouts of the vice president. None governmental organizations must take up initiates and wear their hearts on the sleeves and try to come up with remedies to bail out the country from the useless government. We must not forget that Malawi is not peter or dpp so let peter and chilima dine and wine while we rebuild the battered country and when their wine will run out, they will realised that they are not longer in government. You can not fool Malawians forever and you will not have enough money to bribe mbendera and his electoral commission friends all the times, there’s God up there and I’m yet to be convinced that God hates Malawi as a country. Good luck with all everything that you guys are doing at home that will change the country for the better.( let me quickly grab a MacDonald… Cheers!)

  33. Bikiloni Nachipanti says:

    Expenditure cuts also means spending with our limits. The highest office should stop appeasing every Jim and Jack but rather ensure that expenditure cuts are indeed enforced. For sure we do not need an aircraft to carry 12 passengers to UK when we can reduce the costs by flying in a business class of other airliners. Our leaders are too proud of themselves and all they think of is highest standards beyond our pockets. I wonder what their advisors are telling them especially when setting prioroties.

  34. BONGIE says:

    This is all crap issues. why during kamuzu leadership no allowances was cut down. Big problem in malawi is that everybody thinks to know everything. Straight talk APM is totally messing up the country. Why are you people reversing the agenda for APM to resign.

  35. The Only Democrat Left says:

    The most important message to get through is that we do not want corruption and that dunderhead Mutharika must be made to return the billions that he and his thankfully dead brother Bingu stole from Malawi.
    To try and find any other solutions unless these critical issues are fully addressed is pointless and gives immunity to dunderhead Mutharika and other leaders To continue to steal billions from Malawi and gives out the message that accepting bribes from the Indians for government contracts is acceptable.
    How can Malawi even begin to address its economic problems when billions are stolen and taken out of the country to bank in Dubai, South Africa, UK, off-shore etc. every year on year So first let’s address this two issues, demand that dunderhead Mutharika returns the billions that he and his brother stole and stop corruption in award of government contracts.

  36. Mapwevupwevu says:

    Ma MP ngati Jumbe nawonso achepetse ma allowance awo!

  37. Chikadza Kuwani says:

    This should be for all TRIBES not only from one Region ok! Otherwise will not work, but I will join you soon

Comments are closed.