Press Corporation Limited (PCL) chief executive officer and former finance minister Professor Mathews Chikaonda added weight to accusations by Business Consult Africa (BCA) Managing Director Henry Kachaje that the Joyce Banda administration is running the government childishly.
Kachaje said in the capital Lilongwe during a debate that discussed the progress of the Economic Recovery Plan (ERP) organized by the Economists Association of Malawi (ECAMA) that the Banda government is ignoring the private sector in its attempts to revive Malawi’s moribund economy.
“Let’s say the truth here that the problem we’ve is that we run government childishly,” said Kachaje.
“Government will always say that the private sector is the engine for economic growth. But in reality, this isn’t what is happening on the ground. In Malawi, the private sector is taken as something which [government] can consult if it so wishes,” he added.
Chikaonda, who also spoke at the event, backed Kachajes, saying there wasn’t enough consultation on economic matters.”I head the biggest conglomerate in the country but I only heard about the ERP on the day it was launched,” said Chikaonda, a renowened econmoisyt who once headed the Reserve Bank of Malawi as its Governor.
“ Who came to the private sector to consult us about the ERP? We are the ones to do the doing but how much consultation were made with us?” said Chikaonda.
Ministry of Economic Planning and Development spokesperson, Jolam Banda, who was one of the panelists, conceded that government did not because it has “issues to be addressed as soon as possible.”
Nonetheless, Kachaje said the recovery plan was foggy and asked government to stop politicising it, stamp out rampant corruption and ensure austirity measures are adhered to.