LILONGWE-(MaraviPost)-Oxfam Malawi on Wednesday launched the much awaited revealing that rampant corruption in the country is fueling inequality.
The report – titled ‘Closing the Divide in Malawi – How to Reduce Inequality and Increase Prosperity for All’ – is providing recommendations on fighting inequality of all forms in the country.
The study aims at addressing inequality challenges in which it has said solutions can only be attained if legislation to check corruption and external influence on the government (State capture) is fully implemented.
It follows an earlier analysis which was done in 2015, A Dangerous Divide – the State of Inequality in Malawi, which revealed the growing problem of inequality in the country.
“Inequality is not inevitable as a result of policy choices made by those with power. The paper shows that to leave no one behind and get on track to achieve the sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the government must commit to policies which prevent the country’s elites from appropriating the benefits of economic growth and instead ensure that benefits are redistributed to all,” reads the report in part.
However, the new report presents a vision, roadmap and policy recommendations for a more inclusive, equitable and prosperous Malawi.
It indicates that is is only when governments and institutions are accountable that the gap between the minority – who control the government and the poor – who suffer lack of access to social services can be narrowed.
According to Oxfarm Malawi report, a small wealthy elite has gained influence over the political process due to political party funding mechanism that leads to State capture.
“Corruption is one of the most extreme forms of political capture,” said the report.
To tackle inequality as a result of political capture and corruption, the report has commended the passing of the Political Parties Act as one way of regulating party funding and donations.
The report also calls upon government, decision makers, development partners and institutions to work for citizens, especially for those living at the margins, in order to break out of slow unequal growth.
Malawi is said to be stuck in a deadlock of slow growth which is unequally distributed, where poverty and inequality are two faces of the same coin.
Between 2004 and 2011, the gap between the richest 10 percent of Malawians and the poorest 40 percent increased by almost a third.
There are fears of having 1.5 million more Malawians being poor by 2020 should the trend continue to rise as in the past years.
Even rapid economic growth will fail to tackle poverty in the country should the situation continue to rise.
However, Oxfam demand the removal of users fees in public primary schools.