The Malawi economic crisis is slowly bringing the country to its knees as companies have cut down production leading to over 20,000 job losses so far.
This has been confirmed by Malawi Congress of Trade Unions (MCTU) which says unavailability of foreign exchange and fuel scarcity are the major causes of low production and job losses.
The union’s general secretary Robert Mkwezalamba said most of jobs that have been lost are from the industrial and security sectors.
“This is not a joke that those in authority especially the president should not mock people about it. Many are jobless now and the numbers are increase because companies cannot pay people when they are not producing there are several factors that the private sector has said are of concern, lack of forex is the major one and the punitive taxes brought by the zero deficit budget has just made things worse, these must be addressed,” said Mkwezalamba.
On the anti-business taxes, Malawi Confederation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry said they have engaged government so that they should be removed during the mid-term budget review.
As of now fuel and forex is still scarce a development which continues to blow up Malawi’s economic quagmire.
Major players in the industrial sector say production will continue to shrink as manufacturers lay off more people each month.
This has been seen as one way to cut wage bills in the wake of acute forex shortages that has led to importation of few or no raw materials used for production.
MCCCI says most companies have decreased their production output by over 50 percent due to either lack of fuel or indeed in abilities to import raw materials, the mainstay of the industry, thereby impacting negatively on production capacity.