LILONGWE—Banks are now seeing foreign exchange since Malawi devalued its currency, a bank official said on Monday.
Dora Banda, Marketing Manageress of Malawi Savings Bank, told Malawi News Agency more and more people were using banks to change their money.
“People have been forthcoming to have their money exchange through banks though it is in small amounts. This is as a result of liberalized exchange market hence others still opt for black market,” Banda said.
“A dollar at black market is at K280 and is being sold at K290 while at the banks we are buying at K270 and sells it at K280. I urge customers to exchange their money through us,” she said.
Malawi faced an acute shortage of forex for the past two years after donors suspended aid, citing economic mismanagement and threats to human rights by the erstwhile Mutharika administration.
Besides, the country’s top foreign exchange earner tobacco failed to do well at the market.
Because of a lack of forex, the country was unable to import enough fuel and many businesses reported losses as they couldn’t produce anything.
When the global lender International Monetary Fund advised Pres Bingu wa Mutharika to devalue Malawi’s overvalued currency, he refused, saying it would lead to high commodity prices and the poor would suffer most.
Mutharika died in April and his successor, Joyce Banda, allowed the kwacha to lose some of its value. The availability of forex in banks as reported by Banda is a result of the devaluation.
----©2012 The Maravi Post. Reproduction authorised, with usual acknowledgment.