A political science lecturer at Blantyre International University, Sheriff Kaisi, has said it’s time for Chakwera to walk the talk in pulling the country out of poverty which he blamed on past governments.
In his address to parliament Friday, Chakwera dismissed a notion that Malawi is a poor country, saying the poverty for which Malawi is renowned is man-made.
Kaisi said if Chakwera is to live by his words, “it means it is now time for work.”
Added Kaisi: “No more promises. Malawians want to see 1 million jobs, want to see universal subsidy of fertilizers, trimming down the cost of passports. Those things, which already promised, and now they just live on those promises.”
Chakwera unseated former leader Peter Mutharika in a June 23 re-run election after the 2019 polls were overturned by a court, citing irregularities.
Addressing lawmakers in parliament, Chakwera said public debt had risen to 4.1 trillion Malawi kwacha ($5.53 billion), or 59% of gross domestic product.
He repeated promises to crack down on corruption, saying it was holding back economic growth.
“The success of Malawi’s economy going forward, … we will not tolerate corruption nor will we interfere in the affairs of institutions fighting corruption, we will observe the rule of law in order to provide predictability of the political and economic environment,” he said.
In the agriculture sector — a lifeline in Malawi’s economy — Chakwera announced the start of an “affordable inputs program,” in which 4.3 million smallholder farmers will receive subsidized seeds and fertilizers.
He said this will improve tremendously the level of productivity in the sector, which currently contributes 30 percent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product.
Betchani Tchereni, an economics lecturer at the University of Malawi, said Chakwera’s speech was inspiring.
“Well, the speech is giving some hope in the sense that the president has been able to explain to us why the economy is behaving as it is behaving now, and what are the solutions,” he said. “And because there are solutions, one would say that, yes, indeed, I think there is some hope that can come under way.”
Eyes now are on Chakwera’s national budget, Tchereni said, which the finance minister Fleix Mlusu is expected to deliver during the sitting of parliament that begins Monday.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :