In its public statement entitled ‘The Worst Christmas Holliday for Malawians, Consumers Association of Malawi (CAMA) is asking President Lazarus Chakwera to cut down government over-expenditure by, among others, trimming his huge cabinet which includes “extravagant non productive large numbers of presidential advisors that are contributing nothing to the growth of this economy”.
CAMA is also asking Chakwera and his Cabinet and civil servants “to cut down on their huge appetite for unnecessary travels within and outside the country which continue to hurt poor Malawian tax payers”.
“The President and his entire team need to be exemplary by sharing the economic pain that Malawians are undergoing and this must be shown by action,” says the statement by CAMA Executive Director, John Kapito dated December 15.
“The poor Malawian taxpayers can no longer sustain the expensive life style of the current leadership as the taxes they pay are making them more poorer in order to fund the extravagant lifestyle.”
CAMA also appeals to the general public to take appropriate care during this Christmas festivity by avoiding “unnecessary purchases influenced by promotions or any forms of advertisements”.
“It is a fact that most Consumers are unemployed and do not have access to incomes some have been retrenched as a result of CoVID-19 and other market failures.
“Therefore, it is important that Consumers should refrain from engaging in unnecessary purchases that would negatively affect their livelihoods during and after the Christmas season.”
He further advised the public that while they enjoy the Christmas festivities, they must also think ahead by ensuring that the budget for rentals, children’s school fees, electricity and water bills and necessary food items to adequately carry them through the end of January.
“Consumers should avoid excessive beer drinking, unnecessary travels, unnecessary purchase of any luxury goods and services.”
CAMA issued the advice taking cognizance that “Malawians are experiencing the worst economic crisis that has never been observed for a long time.
“Current market prices of goods and services have gone up beyond the affordability of every Malawian the current situation would require Consumers to be assertive and very observant when they go out on the market to buy goods and services during this Christmas season.
“Prices of goods and services in Malawi have drastically gone up by an average of over 70% while cooking oil, bathing soaps and other basic essential commodities have going up by an average of 100%.”
This CAMA says the current economic and social collapse of the economy “demands every Malawian to reflect on the reasons why we have found ourselves in this desperate economic crisis.
“The questions are many but key among them are; does our leadership have the capacity to reduce poverty? Why has our economy failed to grow as promised by the current leadership?
“Why has Malawi turned into a consuming instead of a producing and exporting country? How much has corruption which is in all sectors of the economy contributed to the poverty of Malawians?
“Why is Government over-spending beyond its means despite the weakness of our economy? Why has the country failed to develop and implement a measurable and shared economic and social plan?
“Why are Malawians more poorer now than before? All these and many more questions are the issues that Malawians must find answers during this Christmas period.”
At the same time, Kapito asks Malawians to question the quality of the leadership and whether the economic and governance institutions are providing the necessary benchmarks to reduce the poverty levels that Malawians are experiencing now.
This appealing to Government to stop its unnecessary extravagant lifestyle spending using “scarce resources” and at the same time demands the country’s leadership to stop its overspending by, amongst others, trimming the huge cabinet that includes “extravagant non productive large numbers of presidential advisors that are contributing nothing to the growth of this economy”.
“This Christmas period should be a time for reflection especially for our leaders to find lasting solutions that are aimed at changing the economic and social status of the many poor Malawians.”
In wishing all Malawians a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, Kapito said: “This is a Christmas period and we are all encouraged to worship our Lord and pray for forgiveness and ask for wisdom from our Lord especially for our economically socially confused leaders.”Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :