Zambia worried with Malawi’s ‘sick’ economy

The Zambian government has come out to clarify on reasons leading to its donation of five million litres of fuel to Malawi during funeral of former president Bingu wa Mutharika, saying it is worried with the severity of Malawi’s challenges.

Zambian deputy president Guy Scot told BBC Network Africa programme his country had always wanted to bail out Malawi from its economic trajectory which he said was poisonous to other nations in the region had it not been for altitude of the then ruling elite.

“Zambian government was really worried with the way late president of Malawi [Bingu wa Mutharika] was steering the ship. The country was indeed heading for explosion.

“We have always had the heart to assist our sick neighbour but the then leadership practiced politics of arrogance,” said Scot.

Scott: Helping Malawi. Photo: LT

He therefore expressed confidence in the new administration led by Mrs. Joyce Banda.

“With the way things are now we have confidence the new administration is up to the task in terms of turning things around. An economically sound Malawi is good for Zambia and rest of its neighbours,” added Scot.

Zambia and Malawi have long history of cultural, diplomatic, economic and political partnership but the camaraderie reached low point following ascendancy of Michael Sata to the helm of Zambian government.

This affected Malawi because the former regime of Mutharika deported Sata some years ago whilst an opposition figure when he came to pay courtesy visit to Malawi’s former head of state Bakili Muluzi.

Meanwhile, President Banda has said that the country’s agriculture-dominated economy was in a “total mess”.

Malawi’s economy has been plagued by shortages in fuel and foreign currency, while donors who once provided roughly 40% of the development budget have curbed funding amid the economic crisis and governance concerns within Mali.

Banda has moved swiftly to restore donor confidence and vowed to address concerns previously voiced by key lenders like the International Monetary Fund.

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