Normally it is not a criminal offence for a politician to lie on a political rally but President Peter Mutharika told “many lies” in his state of the nation address in parliament on the state of the country’s economy, the Economics Association of Malawi (Ecama) has said.
In his state of the nation address during the opening of budget session of parliament, Mutharika said the Malawi economy grew by 5.5 percent and it is expected to rebound to higher levels averaging 7 percent or higher from next year.
Mutharika’s adventurous relationship with the truth has been exposed by Ecama president Henry Kachaje, who said the President’s claim of economic boom was lies, damn lies!
Kachaje pointed out that the projections on the ground raises questions on how can the Malawi economy “continues to enjoy positive growth of 5.5 percent” when two major economic sectors- the private and agriculture-experienced a decline in their productivity and output.
“How can we be sure that ‘the economy is expected to rebound to higher levels averaging 7 percent’ when we have just experienced the worst floods in recent history and agricultural output is expected to drop by 30 percent,” queried Kachaje observations when he presented a paper this week in Salima at an event that was organised by Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation in partnership with Freedom House to reflect on Mutharika’s performance in the last 12 months.
According to Kachake, Mutharika’s ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has also not lived up to its set goals within the year.
The Ecama president said there is no way Malawi should expect the inflation to drop further from 18.3 percent to 16.5 percent as Mutharika projected when Malawi is facing hunger and prices of food are likely to go up.
“How will the interest rates go down when inflation is unlikely to drop significantly? How will people’s disposable incomes increase when they will be buying food at higher prices?” he queried.
Kachaje said the projections that Mutharika raised are unrealistic.