Malawians living in fear, observes US envoy

Malawians are now living in fear, the United States Ambassador Jeanine Jackson has observed.

The envoy speaking in an exclusive interview with private radio, Capital FM on its popular Straight Talk programme hosted by Brian Banda, said she was also “certainly aware that Malawians are struggling.”

Afraid

Jackson said since she took her tour of duty to Malawi recently, she has noted that that “Malawians are afraid.”

Jackson pictured when she presented her credential to Mutharika recenlty. Photo: US Embassy website

She said Malawi people “are afraid of their future, they are afraid that they can’t feed their families. They are afraid that they can’t get their ARVs or transport their crops to the market or power their factories, schools and hospitals”

Jackson added: “And some are even afraid to have a conversation and that is a worrisome situation to be in.”

But the envoy said she believes Malawians will prevail against all problems bedevilling the nation.

“I firmly believe that Malawians are resilient, hardworking, peaceful people who can pull themselves out of the economic difficulties and become more of what they want to be in terms of being able to ensure they can be able to feed their families, educate their children and have a good life,” said the US envoy.

Advice

Jackson, who noted that the US government is the largest bilateral and overall donor to Malawi, said her government will continue to engage the Malawi authorities to ensure good governance.

Asked what advice she could offer Malawi to come out of the current economic turmoil, the envoy said Malawi needs to take a bitter pill to heal her wounds.

The envoy pointed out that the economic problems are not unique to Malawi, saying some countries like Greece were facing challenges and that “there is a lot of belt –tightening” to resolve them.

“Decisions have to be made and they are probably going to be difficult decisions,” she said.

Asked to comment on assertions that President Bingu wa Mutharika was culprit to the worst economic crisis, the diplomat said:  “I can’t say one person is solely to blame because economy is very complex.”

Mutharika has been accused of being an “economic destroyer” for being obdurate to stakeholders’ advice.

US envoy said Malawi need also to do “belt-tightening” to recover, but noted “unfortunately it’s going to take some time to see the results.”

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