Inequality gap widens between rich and poor in Malawi

Unequal distribution of national resources has been cited as one of the major factors contributing to the yawning gap between the rich and the poor in Malawi.

The Malawi Economic Justice Network (MEJN) executive director Bertha Phiri observed that only 10 percent of the country’s population is sharing 50 percent of the national resources, which means that most Malawians are suffering due to the mismanagement of the resources.

Speaking during a stakeholders project briefing in Lilongwe on Friday, Phiri appealed to faith leaders to champion the fight against social and economic inequalities in education and social protection sectors.

MEJN executive director Bertha Phiri

She cited the uneven distribution of land where she said most of the land has been sold to foreigners at the expense of local Malawians which is a clear indication that Malawians are suffering in their own country.

“The way things are being done in the country can be equated to second colonization by foreigners, hence the government needs to take decisive action if Malawians are to enjoy homemade resources,” she said.

Phiri said it is disappointing that the government has been so silent in addressing several crucial issues not only on issues of mining, but also land, stressing that a lot of prime land has been sold to foreigners forcing Malawians to suffer in their own country.

Some of the participants to the workshop–Photos by Watipaso Mzungu, Nyasa Times

Drawing lessons from other countries such as Kenya and Rwanda where no foreigners are allowed to own land, the MEJN boss emphasized the need for the government to implement the newly revised land act so that it gives more powers to the locals.

Phiri also deplored high levels of corruption at the Ministry of Lands, urging officials at the ministry to be patriotic to their own country.

Reverend Nasi Chunga of the Livingstonia Synod of the Church of Central Africa Presbyterian (CCAP) observed although Malawi adopted the concept of decentralization, there is very little progress that has been made in terms of uplifting the lives of poor Malawians.

Chunga wondered why the government is failing to address the resource management gaps, especially in district councils, which is raising suspicions that there are some top officials benefitting from the system.

He cited an example of the way Covid-19 funds were mismanaged in the councils, saying this was a clear evidence that poor Malawians are being skinned alive.

The man of God suggested the need to put in place radical reforms if things are to improve.

“Government should consider stripping some privileges that the President, Cabinet Ministers, Members of the Executive as well as Members of Parliament (MPs) receive at the expense of poor Malawians who put them into power,” said Chunga.

He added that top government officials should stop flying out in search of specialized medication when they are taken ill, saying this is the only way they can appreciate the harsh conditions Malawians are going through to access basic needs.

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President Mkango Chisokonezo Manthakanjenjemereza
President Mkango Chisokonezo Manthakanjenjemereza
3 years ago

You can not go to India or England to own land. you can not do other businesses in Botswana if you are a foreigner. But in Malawi, every foreigner enjoys more than Malawians. The widening of gap betwwen the rich and the poor is the beginning of corruption,

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