Vocal Dedza East Legislator, Juliana Lunguzi, says Malawi’s current macro-economic outlook with a single digit inflation, is overly praised “cooked up” economics which does not mean anything to a common Malawian.
She said this in Parliament on Tuesday when responding to President Peter Mutharika’s State of the Nation Address (SONA) delivered on Friday last week during the opening of the 3rd meeting in the 47th session of Parliament and 2018/2019 budget meeting.
“Much as we want to celebrate such inflation rate, we also need to think about how much this is benefiting a common villager,” Lunguzi told the largely deserted House.
Opposition Members of Parliament (MPs) applauded the Malawi Congress Party (MCP) youthful Parliamentarian as she spoke.
According to Mutharika’s SONA, four years ago, inflation which was at 24 per cent, has moved to a single digit of 7.8 percent.
Interest rates, which were at 25 percent, are now at 16 percent.
Foreign currency import cover moved to the highest point from an import cover of below 2 months to 6 months.
The SONA further says the local currency is now stable and predictable.
GDP Growth rate in 2018 is expected to be at 4 per cent and in 2019 at 6 percent.
“This outlook shows signs of progress with more people participating in the economy to create their own opportunities. Consumers tell us prices of many goods in shops and fares of buses have been stable. Malawians are buying more cars than ever because more and more people can afford a car,” reads part of Mutharika’s SONA which was disrupted twice by the marauding youth cadets of his own ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).
The youth cadets beat up a Times Group cameraman, harassed and restrained from entering the Chinese built Parliament two DPP legislators Patricia Kaliati and Noel Masangwi.
But Lunguzi tore the SONA apart, disagreeing with Mutharika on the purported benefits of the “flowery” macro-economic outlook.
“What does this mean to a villager who in 2014 bought a packet of sugar at less than 500 kwacha which is now costing nearly 1000 kwacha? Water and electricity tariffs have risen to unmanageable levels”.
Lunguzi, a qualified medical personnel, also expressed her dismay with the deteriorating health infrastructure in the country, noting that there is little investment in the maintenance of such infrastructure.
Her sentiments on health prompted Minister of Health Atupele Muluzi to rise on a point of order.
“Madam First Deputy Speaker, Government has a plan and is currently doing its best to maintain dilapidated health infrastructure in the country,” said the usually calm and composed , Atupele Muluzi.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :