By Wezzie Gausi:
President Lazarus Chakwera has reiterated his call for Africa to have a permanent seat in the United Nations (UN) Security Council, calling the current scenario a travesty of justice.
Chakwera said this in a ‘Talk to Aljazeera’ programme on Saturday.
He said the UN was formed when most African nations were not even independent.
“It is a realistic request because time has changed since the UN was birthed out of the League of Nations. Most of the African countries were not even independent that time.
“Now you are talking of about 1.3 billion people in the continent and no permanent seat,” he said.
Chakwera also said no world leaders should force Malawi and other African countries who to be in consonance with, saying African countries have to deal with all countries across the world as they please.
“Malawi and the whole of Africa need to have diplomatic relations with all the nations and someone should not say do not talk to so and so if they are not their friends because we have to talk to everyone because we have so decided,” the President said.
Asked who he would choose between the East and West if forced to, Chakwera said he does not want to be forced to choose at any point.
“We do not want to be put in a position where we are told to choose either this one or that one,” he said.
The President also indicated that devastating effects of tropical storms Ana and Gombe and the Russia-Ukraine War have affected Malawi’s economy.
“The war has not helped because prices of food, fuel and fertilisers have spiked. Our consumption, particularly wheat-related consumption, has been affected negatively.
“However, what we are doing is diversifying and having other food systems that can enter into the equation so that Malawians can still survive and thrive despite the pain we are all experiencing because of the shortage,” he said.
He also defended the devaluation of the kwacha, saying it was a necessary evil and that the ‘alignment’ “has helped a lot to free some forex for the country to import what is necessary”.
The President was also hopeful that Malawi’s discussions with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) o the Extended Credit Facility (ECF) would bear fruits.
A schedule of IMF Executive Board Meetings that we saw two weeks ago showed that Malawi was not among countries to be discussed by the Bretton Woods institution the following week.
Local authorities had over the past weeks been keeping their fingers crossed for a new ECF programme despite that a Staff Level Agreement with the fund was yet to be reached.
Treasury had hoped that the IMF Executive Board would look at Malawi’s case on July 18.
But according to the IMF Executive Board meeting schedule posted on the fund’s website, the IMF board on July 18 looked at the cases of Tanzania, Germany and Kenya.
Finance Minister Sosten Gwengwe had earlier indicated that Malawi was yet to have a Staff Level Agreement with the fund and that on July 18, IMF would discuss the purported external reserves misreporting which was among factors that the fund wanted addressed.