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Lazarus Chakwera blasts banks over interest rates

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By Chimwemwe Mangazi:

Malawi Congress Party (MCP) president, Lazarus Chakwera, on Sunday took a swipe at commercial banks for charging exorbitant interest rates, saying the development is deterring many Malawians from borrowing to advance their businesses.

Chakwera was speaking at Area 25 in Lilongwe during a whistle-stop tour of some locations of the city.

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The base lending rate for commercial banks hovers around 23.5 percent, with the policy rate at 16 percent.

Chakwera said, once voted into power, he would engage stakeholders to ensure that commercial banks are serving Malawians.

“The way things are at this stage, it is clear that banks are not serving Malawians in the way that they should,” Chakwera said.

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He further said the country’s economy is failing to grow because experts in the civil service are frustrated by people that were recruited for their affiliation with those in power but have nothing to contribute to the development of the country.

Chakwera, who is also Leader of Opposition in Parliament, vowed not to offer positions to politicians to appease them.

Late last year, MCP lawmaker for Dowa West, Alexander Kusamba Dzonzi, brought to Parliament a bill to cap interest rates.

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