By Vincent Gunde

LILONGWE-(MaraviPost)-Forex shortage is reportedly hit the country hard making goods and services to continue sky-rocketing beyond the reach of the poor in Malawi.

The development has made both Ethiopian, Kenyan Airlines suspending fight ticketing over shortage of forex in the country.

Both Airlines say that Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) is failing to remit money to its accounts due to dry forex reserves.

Kenya Airways has also suspended ticketing services in Malawi with immediate effect due to foreign currency repatriation difficulties.

Despite President Lazarus Chakwera’s Tonse government warning cooking oil manufacturing industries to reduce product prices, nothing has changed on the ground; the commodity is scarce and expensive.

Forex shortage in the country has coincided with Government’s announcement that it has reduced cooking oil prices following the removal of 16.5 percent Value-Added Tax (VAT) saying a 2L bottle of Kukoma which was being sold at MK7,108 will now be sold at MK5,638.

The claims that removal of 16.5 percent VAT will reduce commodity’s prices is not practical considering the country’s forex shortages.

Cooking oil Refining Industry, the producer of Kukoma cooking oil has been quoted in the press as having attributed high cost of edible cooking oil to reduced capacity saying they are operating at 30 percent because of no forex to purchase the raw materials on the international market.

Finance Minister Sosten Gwengwe claims that forex shortage started in 2017 during the reign of Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika (APM) and his Democratic Progress Party (DPP) due to borrowing huge amount of money in foreign banks beyond the size of Malawi.

Speaking at a jam parked Janji ground in area 25-Lilongwe on Monday, Gwengwe said the DPP led government borrowed over US$350,000 , the International Monetary Fund (IMF) requested the money back after noting that the DPP lied to the world that Malawi’s economy was on the right track.

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