President Joyce Banda has criticised some Malawian media outlets for “deliberate twist of information” to influence public opinion against her administration regarding the International Monetary Fund (IMF) report on the country’s current economic situation.
Local media widely quoted IMF saying Malawi is in ‘a crisis situation’ following the withholding of aid by the major donors.
IMF Mission Chief Tsidi Tsikata was quoted by journalists on what he said at a news conference in Lilongwe that Malawi needed to enforce drastic actions to normalise relations with its development partners.
But President Banda said the report of IMF released after a third and fourth reviews under the Extended Credit Facility (ECF) programme, expressed their satisfaction with the work being undertaken in Malawi to improve the economic and social environment of the country.
“In their report, IMF, actually commended Government for the very steps we have taken in strengthening financial management and the Fund is due to consider Malawi for the next disbursement of funds in its third quarter come January, 2014,” explained President Banda.
IMF hailed the policy reforms initiated by President Banda since her election in 2012, including the introduction of a flexible exchange rate that has made foreign currency readily available and the work the Reserve Bank of Malawi is doing to “tighten monetary policy.”
Nonetheless, IMF Malawi mission chief pointed out that the decision by donors to withhold their aid following the cash-gate scandal has” triggered anger among Malawians as well as uncertainty to Malawi’s economic outlook.”
President Banda has since directed that the IMF report be published both in English and vernacular for Malawians to read for themselves.