President Peter Mutharika is maintaining his script about his success in turning around the economy of Malawi after he interited empty coffers from his predecessor Joyce Banda in 2014.
Mutharika, an international and constitutional law expert, has said his government took painful steps to stabilize the economy and the currency, the kwacha, and brought inflation down from a peak of 24 percent to single digit and reduced interest rates from 25 per cent to 16 per cent.
“There was no money because the previous government [of Joyce Banda] had engaged in massive looting of government resources [Cashgate].
“We inherited a deficit that was almost equal to our annual national budget. The country was going bankrupt,” said Mutharika when he was conferred with an honorary degree by Washington University Sunday.
The President said when he took power in 2014, he had to deal with devastating floods, a famine and a foreign-aid freeze.
“We had to run the country with our resources, and we did. In that tight and hard situation, we managed to turn around the economy,” said Mutharika.
Mutharika prides his administration of taking import cover from the lowest point to the highest point in Malawi’s economic history.
“Our import cover has risen from below 2 months to 6 months. We have made local currency stable and predictable,” he said.
Mutharika said his administration has also raised economic growth above the Sub-Saharan and IMF global average growth.
“I found GDP Growth Rate at 2.4 per cent when I started leading Malawi four years ago. Now we expect growth at 4 per cent in our 2018/2019 financial year. And we expect this growth to rise to 6 percent in 2019,” he said.
“I believe we have begun to take Malawi from poverty to prosperity,” said Mutharika and he paid tribute to all this progress to the people of Malawi, who he said have contributed greatly to his career.
Mutharika also talked about the inspiration he found in the United States, especially at Washington University.
“I have learnt many lessons from my time of being a professor in this place. And I have also learnt great lessons from the people of Malawi – lessons that define my leadership,” said Mutharika.
Mutharika said he has learnt to lead Malawi with “a passionate determination” to take it out of poverty and is upbeat to deliver.
President Mutharika officially received the Doctor of Humane Letters during a ceremony in Holmes Lounge attended by students, faculty, alumni and other guests of the University.
The event honoring Mutharika featured several speakers from the University, including Chancellor Mark Wrighton.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :