Malawi’s Energy Minister Goodall Gondwe says government has found “a lasting solution” to the chronic fuel shortage by luring investors to supply the country with fuel which can be paid in local currency.
Speaking on Capital FM Daybreak Malawi programme on Thursday, Gondwe who is former finance minister and credited for Malawi’s economic success during President Bingu wa Mutharika’s first term, said Capital Hill is persuading international investors to “exchange tobacco with fuel” in an effort to get round the foreign exchange shortage.
“We have to think outside the box,” said Gondwe.
“I think everybody knows that main reason why we are short of fuel is that we are short of foreign exchange. That is not. Therefore one would have to think of ways of procuring fuel probably without our own foreign exchange and the prospects look good.”
Gondwe said government has “been relying on borrowed resources from PTA bank” but that they have been used.
He also said government has lured international investors to supply fuel to Malawi and that government can pay in local currency.
“We have found a number of investors that would like to invest in Malawi using Malawi Kwacha,” the Energy Minister said.
“They can supply us with fuel and we can pay it in Kwacha,” said Gondwe, describing it as “lasting solution”.
The Minister also disclosed that government has secured a $50 million bank loan from Islamic International Bank “with a lot of conditions.”
Meanwhile, former finance minister Friday Jumbe said President Bingu wa Mutharika should summon his courage to update the nation on practical steps his administration is taking to address economic challenges facing the nation.
The Daily Times newspaper on Thursday quoted Jumbe telling Star Radiothat “President Bingu wa Mutharika should communicate to Malawians by himself because government spokespersons are fond of feeding Malawians with lies.”
Jumbe is quoted saying: “The prices of commodities are steadily going up because of the fuel crisis. The president should come in the open to tell Malawians when this mess will be over.”
The economist who is acting president of former ruling UDF party accused government officials of making “unnecessary shouting” when explaining the economic situation.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :