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World Bank speaks on political impasse

Bella Bird

The World Bank, through its Country Director Bella Bird, has tipped the Malawi government on the need for political stability, saying it is key for achieving economic stability.

Bird, who is responsible for Malawi, Tanzania and Burundi, said this when she met President Peter Mutharika at Sanjika Palace in Blantyre Wednesday.

During the meeting, Mutharika decried that the ongoing political impasse has taken a toll on the country’s economy as businesses continue to be frustrated.

But in a follow-up interview after the meeting, Bird observed that political stability creates economic opportunities.

“Stability helps in economic progress; they go hand-in-hand, and there is no question about that. Also economic progress helps with stability, so these things are mutually reinforcing. The more economic opportunities there are, the more people are satisfied and that they can reach their aspirations,” Bird said.

In his remarks, Mutharika said there was an alleged campaign of violence by opposition political parties who, he said, do not want to accept the outcome of May 21 2019 tripartite elections which, he said, local and international observers declared free and fair.

He said the continued destruction of property and the government infrastructure during the post-election protests was a big setback.

“The journey to Malawi’s economic growth has been a challenging one along the years, currently, there is a campaign of violence from those that do not want to accept the results of the elections, businesses are frustrated and the economy is slowing down. They want to put this country into a crisis,” Mutharika said.

He pledged that his government would continue to exercise restraint, as it embarks on efforts to renew Malawi’s economic priorities.

Saying: “I love peace and order and that is why there has been unprecedented restraint from the government in all this.”

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