The outspoken Consumers Association of Malawi’s Cama) Executive Director, John Kapito, has said amateurs who are governing the country as a five-year project have made 2016 the worst year for consumers.
In his summary of the year ending, Kapito said it is now clear that the economy is in the hands of “amateurs who are looking at Malawi as a five-year project and are more concerned with next elections than uplifting the lives of citizens.”
“When you are running the country as a project, there are challenges, and these are the challenges that we have faced in 2016. The guys [leaders] have no vision beyond five years. We have seen the economy falling in terms of inflation, the kwacha depreciating at a faster rate and we have seen no investors coming to invest in the country. We have also seen corruption becoming rife in almost all sectors of Malawi, more especially in the public sector, where everybody is protected for being corrupt,” Kapito said.
He said the economic challenges of the year have been too much on consumers as they can only enjoy the benefits of a perfect not bad economy.
According to him, corruption has taken almost everything that would have gone to consumers.
Kapito said unemployment was too high in the year and it is obvious that once people are unemployed they do not have incomes.
“The rising cost of living depleted incomes of the people. In Malawi incomes of people are the lowest and if you look at the inflation rate, it means that the little incomes have been depleted to zero. It means that you cannot buy even the basics. And because of corruption, we have noted that the basic services were not even easily affordable and accessible to most Malawians. Health standards went down, education standards went down. Electricity and water services were not available,” Kapito said.
He further said he does not foresee anything better in 2017 as the “five-year project leaders” are likely to shift much of their focus to elections of 2019.
“All efforts will be put towards ensuring that they win the next elections by crook or not and that will diminish all gains that would be there if the efforts were towards the country’s development,” he said.
Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development already conceded that the year ending has been a bad year for both citizens and government as the cost of living soared on the back of falling incomes amidst high inflation rates.
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