The University of Malawi political science lecturer Blessings Chinsinga says the levels of grinding poverty which Malawians are facing is largely because of type of politicians which are voted into power to lead the country- mostly clueless.
Chinsinga is reacting to a 2012 integrated household survey which indicates increasing levels of poverty among Malawians.
The study show that 52.2% of the country’s population is poor surviving on less than a dollar a day and the number of extremely or ultra poor people who survives on less than 10 cents a day has been increased from 22 to 25 %.
Chinsinga, who is a lecturer at Chancellor College, says the problem is that Malawi started being governed by politicians who were interested in accumulating wealth for themselves leaving the welfare of people they were supposed to serve.
He also says another problem is that those in power were giving little or no room for the private sector to grow.
However, Chinsinga says preceding governments did not do any better despite giving room for the expansion of the private sector.
He says the problem is that its growth is being hampered by corruption which is deep rooted in government departments especially when awarding contracts to the private sector.
“The country needs new leadership which thinks outside the box,” says Chinsinga.
“ The leadership which works with professionally competitive civil service that is able to implement policies not only on the basis of selfish political considerations but on the basis of what is good for this country,” he says.
Poverty levels in Malawi have also recently been aggravated by the economic policies followed by the president Joyce Banda’s administration especially devaluation and floatation of Malawi kwacha without putting in place measures to cushion the impact on the poor Malawians.
This has resulted in rising cost of living a situation which recently forced Consumers Association of Malawi to hold national wide demonstrations on January 17 after which they petitioned president Banda to reverse the trend within 21 days from the day of the demonstrations.
Malawi has been beset with economic problems since the IMF sharply curtailed lending facilities in 2011 when former leader Bingu wa Mutharika, who died in office in April 2012 , was widely criticised for a poor human rights record and mismanaging the economy.
Soon after assuming the reins of power, President Banda has been working on economic reforms. Her government last September launched the Economic Recovery Plan (ERP) which outlined a set of immediate, short and medium term policy reforms aimed at restoring the external and internal economic stability.
Malawi’s Minister of Economic Planning and Development Goodall Gondwe has since said the ERP)is on course, saying most economic indicators under recovery plan are working as planned.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :