The research institution Afrobarometer report findings, reveals that the country’s economy is in bad shape but government says it is surprised with the survey results.
According to the results finding delivered at Victoria Hotel in Blantyre, 86% of respondents said the feel economic turmoil despite the falling consumer and national inflation.
The country’s annual rate of inflation has been falling steadily for more than 10 months since June 2016 largely helped by declining food prices, a relatively stable kwacha and lower international fuel prices.
Official data from the National Statistical Office (NSO) showed on Wednesday that Malawi’s headline inflation slowed to 12.3 percent year-on-year in May from 14.6 percent in April.
According to the survey the economy is expected to nose dive in the next 12 months.
In the survey, 77% of the respondents described their personal living conditions as very bad.
In the survey it was revealed that Malawians are not inspired with the way the government is handling key economic issues.
For example the report has justified that safety nets programs which are aimed at uplifting people from poverty such as Farm Input Subsidy Program has failed to help poor Malawians and that it should be scrapped.
Afrobarometer is a pan African , non partisan research network that conducts public attitude surveys on democracy , governance, economic conditions and related issues in African countries.
During the survey, the Afrobarometer team, led by the Centre for Social Research at Chancellor College, a constituent college of the University of Malawi (Unima), interviewed 1 200 adult Malawians in December last year and January this year.
Issues on the economic front where government scored poorly include keeping prices stable (90 percent), narrowing income gaps (86 percent), managing the economy (84 percent), creating jobs (81 percent), ensuring there is enough to eat (80 percent) and improving living standards of the poor (77 percent).
Commenting on the report, Malawi Economic Justice Network, (Mejn) Executive Director Dalitso Kubalasa said he agrees with the findings on economy, saying it is a true reflection of what is on the ground.
Kubalasa said its time government look into the issue seriously in order to help Malawians come out of the poverty.
“It time to call a spade a spade than being defensive this is our country. I regard these findings as a mirror,” aaid Kubalasa.
“Malawians are sincerely with what they are saying [that economy is bad],” he said.
But government spokesman and Minister of Information, and Communications Technology, Nicholous Dausi said the results were suprising, saying the economy has so far been on rebound.
Dausi said even the World Bank and the IMF have confirmed Malawi’s progress in economic management to be sound.
He also pointed out that the inflation—a term economists use to describe a sustained increase in the general price level of goods and services in an economy over a period of time—is expected to drop further this year as government is targeting a single digit inflation rate by early next year
However, prices for other goods and services continue to rise.
On gender the survey revealed that both men and women express strong support for women equality and political leadership.
However, the survey noted that women still lags behind men in political participation and gender based discrimination remains a fairly common experience.
“The results suggest a need for strategic and better coordinated efforts to empowered women to be active in politics , as the environment seems conducive to their support,” reads the report in part.
The report also found that 72% say that women should have same chance as men of being elected to political office saying this reflect 11 % point increase compared to that of 2014.
Commenting on the survey, Chairperson of NGO GCN, chairperson, Mrs Emma Kaliya, said its time now that Government should be practical in promoting gender equality.
Kaliya said CSOs have done their part and its time for action.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :