United Nations resident representative in Malawi, Richard Dictus, says Malawi needs a “different thinking “and a “sustained effort” to resolve the political and economic turmoil.
Dictus, whose UN is facilitating dialogue between government and the civil society leaders, made the remarks on Brian Banda’s Capital FM Straight Talk programme.
He noted that the country was facing “complex crisis” with “no easy solutions” in sight.
Dictus said: “You need to follow a new line, go back to a number of policy tenets that made Malawi very successful between 2004 and 2009. Re-establish that macroeconomic stability and if I can put it bluntly, Malawi needs to take its medicine and it will be painful.”
The UN diplomat however said the country will come out of the crisis, saying “Malawi has shown remarkable resilience over the years.”
Asked to comment on the international donors’ threat to freeze aid to nations that criminalises same-sex liaisons, the UN official said the issue of gay rights is part of universality of human rights and that Malawi was not singled out.
He said development partners will make their choice where their money needs to be spent; stressing it was “their money.”
Dictus said Malawi “definitely have to brace ourselves for a difficult period ahead” but expressed the hope that the situation would improve later.
He noted that there are “signals” that government is beginning to listen and addressing concerns.
The donors are concerned about threats to media freedom, governance, deteriorating human rights situations and the “shrinking political space”.