Malawi’s President announces measures to boost economy

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Malawi's newly elected President Lazarus Chakwera takes the oath of office in Lilongwe, Malawi, June 28, 2020. (AP)
Malawi’s newly elected President Lazarus Chakwera takes the oath of office in Lilongwe, Malawi, June 28, 2020. (AP)

Malawi’s President Lazarus Chakwera has announced plans to pull the country out of poverty, which he blamed on past governments.

In his address to parliament Friday, Chakwera dismissed a notion that Malawi is a poor country.

“You may have heard it that Malawi is a poor country, but we must reject this lie,” he said. “Surely my country, with $85 million in gold exported to the Middle East every year, is not poor. My country, with a freshwater lake and multiple rivers capable of generating $100 million a year in revenue, is not poor.”

According to Chakwera, the poverty for which Malawi is renowned is man-made.

“Ours is a country stripped of its God-given wealth and potential by syndicates of people in the public sector who exploit decades of bad government policies and practices to enrich at the expense of Malawians. In short, the poverty of our people is man-made, which means it can and must be unmade,” he said.

The Head of State further announced several reforms in various sectors, including three arms of government: the executive, judiciary and legislature.

“To reform the executive, we have embarked on a full-scale orientation of the public sector to the pillars of my Super Hi5 Agenda: Servant Leadership, Uniting Malawi, Prospering Together, Ending Corruption, and Rule of Law. This will happen across the public sector over the next year,” he said.

Speaking to VOA News agency,Sheriff Kaisi, a political science lecturer at Blantyre International University, said it’s time for Chakwera to walk the talk.

“If he is to live by his words, it means it is now time for work,” Kaisi said. “No more promises. Malawians want to see 1 million jobs, want to see universal subsidy of fertilizers, trimming down the cost of passports. Those things, which already promised, and now they just live on those promises.”

Focus now shifts on Chakwera’s national budget which the finance minister is expected to deliver during the sitting of parliament that begins Monday.

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