BLANTYRE—Contrary to what Pres Bingu wa Mutharika often says, Malawi’s Foreign Affairs Minister Peter Mutharika believes needy Malawi can't do without.
“Malawi will continue to need some support until…we’ve developed. Right now, we…haven’t reached that position where we don’t need aid,” he said.
Mutharika made the remarks after meeting an International Monetary Fund (IMF) officials who in the southern African country to assess economic developments. They are expected to release a statement of their findings Friday.
The remark by the minister is in start contract to the view held by Pres Mutharika who is known for berating donors whom he accuse of coming up with policies that don’t favour Malawians and also working with his perceived enemies to topple his government.
“If any donor wants to abdicate from this country, let them pack and go,” he said recently.
Mutharika said his administration wouldn’t heed the IMF recommendation to devalue the currency.
“I won’t allow devaluing the currency so that [people] suffer in order to please Washington; when Washington smiles, [people] shed tears, I won’t allow that.”
But IMF’s Tside Tsikata who is in Malawi said “our role is to give advice to government based on the experience that we have and not dictate the policies.”
Donors, who used to provide up to 40 percent of the country’s budget, have either slashed or cut off aid because of concerns about economic mismanagement and human rights.
Malawi’s Finance Minister Ken Lipenga has said the national there’s a budget hole of $121 million (about K20.2 billion) as a result of the aid freeze in the form of grants.
Observers say if the position taken by Peter Mutharika –the governing Democratic Progressive Party endorsed him as its candidate for president when his brother leaves office in 2014 – reflects a change in policy, this could be the beginning of better things to come Malawians the majority of whom make less than one dollar a day.
---©2012 The Maravi Post. Reproduction authorised, with usual acknowledgment