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‘Review fiscal policies, austerity measures’

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Leader of People’s Transformation Party Kamuzu Chibambo has said the government needs to review fiscal and monetary policies, implement new austerity measures, ensure transparency and accountability and the rule of law as short-term measures to checking foreign exchange shortages prevailing in the country.

He said this during a press briefing the party held in Blantyre on Tuesday.

Ironically, Chibambo is spokesperson for the Tonse Alliance, a group of nine political parties that merged in the 2020 presidential election to run the government.

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Chibambo said fiscal policies are not working for Malawians as they are not promoting the country’s exports to generate foreign exchange.

He further suggested that ministers’ and principal secretaries’ monthly fuel allocation should be revised to 750 litres from the current 2,000 litres.

“Austerity measures that were promulgated a few months ago need to be notched up. My expectation is that the Office of the President and Cabinet will soon ratchet the measures up. Some of the money saved would surely help restock our hospitals with essential drugs, build more primary school class rooms, repair broken equipment, recruit more teachers and healthcare workers, improve wages of teacher and hospital staff,” Chibambo said.

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In a recent interview, Deputy Governor of the Reserve Bank of Malawi William Matambo said, currently, the country has 1.5 month cover of imports and has resorted to rationing imports to ensure continued supplies of strategic commodities.

“There are a lot of developments happening to normalise the foreign exchange situation through our agency, Export Development Fund, and in government in general. Recently, you heard about the establishment of mega farms. This will transform agriculture from subsistence to commercial farming. This will ensure we produce enough for food and export,” Matambo said.

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