Article By: Faith Kamtambe
The Chancellor College political expert Ernest Thindwa has warned that President Peter Mutharika’s remarks on donor aid will impede the country’s economic growth saying the nation still needs aid before it’s fully graduated from donor dependent.
In his State of National Address delivered when opening the current seating of Parliament on Friday, November 6, President Mutharika said that the age of donor aid was gone hence Malawians were supposed to endure from the economic sovereignty’s painful path.
But in an exclusive interview with The Maravi Post on Monday, November 9, Thindwa differed with the President’s remarks on donor aid cut saying Malawi still needs budgetary support as without it the nation will struggle to achieve sustainable economic growth.
“Without donor support there will be shocks in the economy and social system therefore moving away from donor dependence requires a gradual process which may last for no less than 20 years. Donors are out of our hands because of cash gate. Thus, what is need now is for government to fast track all cash gate cases in court that those found guilty must return the stolen money which will be used for other equally important sectors such as health and education”, said Thindwa.
The current aid cut from donors to Malawi is not a new as the same happened under the late President Bingu WA Mutharika regime when he openly told donors to vanish. After the former President Joyce Banda took over the reign of power in 2012, her leadership also struggled to maintain and revive the country’s fragile economy. Consequently, President Banda devalued the kwacha by 49% in a bid to meet donor requirement for aid restoration.
The current President Mutharika regime the same donors are still shunning away from providing support due to cash gate and economic mismanagement. In this regard, the political analyst Thindwa advised Mutharika government to meet donor conditions in order to restore aid which he says was the way to save Malawians from economic turmoil.
“The government must swallow its pride by meeting donors’ condition decisively for the resumption of their financial support for the current and medium term budgetary shortfall and formulate a plan of action to gradually reduce donor dependence in 10 years’ time.
The current public reforms must address all economic challenges the nation was facing with insightful policy by intensifying cash gate cases as the way to win back donor trust”, appeals Thindwa.