Mulli whinges at Malawi ‘hostile business environment’- report

Squeezed businessperson Leston Mulli, managing director of Mulli Brothers Limited, has slammed President Joyce Banda, saying there is not much to celebrate about during her one year rule as he complained of hostile business environment.

Mulli, who is  Indigenous Businesses Association of Malawi (Ibam) chairperson cried foul over sky-rocketing interest rates on the financial market, which it says has “virtually killed” business operations.

“As indigenous business people, we see no reason for the ruling administration to celebrate the so-called achievements on the economic front because the business environment we are in has become even more hostile than one year before,” Mulli is quoted by The Nation newspaper of Friday.

He wondered how companies and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) could generate enough profits when banks are charging high interest rates.

Lending rates in commercial banks have jumped to as high as 45 percent despite the Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) base lending rate being maintained at 25 percent for about four months.

Mulli: Banks are charging high interest rates.
Mulli: Banks are charging high interest rates.

According to Mulli, foreign exchange scarcity has worsened for the past one year despite high anticipation that the floatation of the kwacha would induce foreign exchange availability.

“During president Mutharika’s regime, reserves used to cover for about 1.5 months which is unlike during this regime when reserves are not exceeding 0.9 months cover. This economy needs reorganisation,” he said.

Mulli is on record complaing that the Joyce Banda administration decided to punish Mulli Brothers by not awarding it contracts or not making payments for work already done when those in government benefited from the company before getting into power.

He  claimed that government was squeezing the company because of its association with the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).

But Information and Civic Education Minister Moses Kunkuyu  is on record that government has no policies to squeeze MBL and encouraged the company to participate in contract bids.

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