Survey rates Tonse Alliance poorly on poverty fight


By Deogratias Mmana:

President Lazarus Chakwera’s Tonse Alliance administration has earned a poor rating on poverty reduction in the recent Afrobarometer survey which shows that only 15 percent of citizens appreciate government’s poverty reduction efforts.

The report says all previous administrations, except for the first term of the late Bingu wa Mutharika, have given Malawians a raw deal on poverty reduction as their commitments are just on paper, with most Malawians having no access to cash.


“There is a disconnect between the government’s intentions and rhetoric on poverty reduction and the lived experiences of Malawians. Using lived poverty as a measure, poverty reduction only worked between 2003 and 2008 and has not worked since then,” reads the report dated October 31 2022.

The survey report, which focuses on lived poverty among Malawians over the past two decades, is co-authored by senior research associate at the Institute of Public Opinion and Research in Zomba Maria Chunga and associate research professor at the Centre for Social Research at the University of Malawi, Maxton Tsoka.

Tsoka authenticated findings of the survey report.


Survey results also show that the late Mutharika received favourable ratings during his first term.

It also indicates that there were unfavourable perceptions towards the Peter Mutharika administration, warning that, “unless the trend is reversed, the [re will] even [be a] worse grade for the Chakwera government”.

“Only 15 percent of citizens approve of the current government’s efforts to reduce poverty,” the report adds.

The survey results also indicate that three-fourths of Malawians experienced moderate or high lived poverty during the past year, continuing a negative trend that started in 2008.

Further, higher levels of deprivation are more prevalent among citizens with no formal education (80 percent) and those without employment (74 to 77 percent), women (77 percent) and those above 35.

When asked for a comment, Chakwera’s Press Secretary Anthony Kasunda referred us to Minister of Information and Digitisation Gospel Kazako.

Kazako said the government is on top of things.

“We are very aware of the sad levels of poverty that has been there for the past 26 years. The levels of poverty are appalling. The beauty and strength of the entire strata is that we are aware and on top of it. That’s why we are changing the systems and approach to reducing poverty. We are digging deep to obtain sustainable solutions to significantly reduce poverty.

“Some of the pain that we are experiencing in this country is a result of the live engine we have put in motion to ensure poverty is fought from all fronts in order to win,” he said.

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