Malawians react to reports that Shoprite is pulling out of Malawi

Some section of society are welcoming reports that South African chain store, Shoprite might be pulling out of the country, saying it was a drain on the country’s forex.

Shoprite has not confirmed that it is closing shop in Malawi but it has already done so in other countries such as Nigeria, Uganda and Madagascar and scaled down its operations in Kenya in what the chain store says strategic business plan.

The Government of Zambia has prevented the company from leaving the country.

Some Malawians have taken up in various social media platforms to welcome the impending departure of the chain store, saying it was a drain on the country’s forex since it was importing locally found commodities such as vegetables and fruits from South Africa.

Writing on her face book wall, Thandie Wa Pulimuheya described the impending departure of Shoprite as good riddance.

“That shoprite might be closing in Malawi is music to my ears.

“We do not need “investors” involved in the petty trading of vegetable and eggs.

“Let them invest in mining if they have the dosh. There is nothing exotic about the Malawian shopping basket. It’s all geared up for nsima mpunga and chips,” she says.

She says until the country has Malawian supermarkets in SA, let shopping shelves be filled with Malawian produce.

One of the country’s renowned economist Prof Betchani Tchereni, has urged the Minister of Trade and Industry to put his foot on the ground by having factories that can be producing commodities in Malawi amid rumours that some South African chain store may close shop in Malawi.

According to Prof Tchereni, the news is just a manifestation of the unstainable business model it has been running.

“This has been largely expected given the forex situation as they are an unnecessary drainer of forex for commodities we can insist on producing for import substitution in Malawi,” Prof Tchereni wrote.

In his post, he has emphasized on the need to have factories as that is the model that will be sustained.

“I’m sure the producers of those commodities will notice the slamp in demand, let them bring their subsidiary factories in Malawi and produce right here including reporting their profitability in Malawi Kwacha, apo bi, it is our duty as Malawians to get down to earth and start manufacturing,” he added.

Prof Tchereni further said that as long as the country continue with the Malawi Kwacha and dependency on subsistence farmers for foreign exchange generation, there won’t be any import business that will be sustained in Malawi.

“Every trading business in Malawi can only survive by either crooked means of tapping from the meagre forex envelop or a miracle,” Tchereni highlighted.

He therefore said its time to roll our sleeves and get on to establish factories for import substitution, saying this is no longer a matter of a sales speech only its time to act.

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