By Fatsani Gunya
BLANTYRE-(MaraviPost)-President Lazarus Chakwera’s Tonse government has thwarted allegations that the leadership has engaged seasoned economist-cum-politician Goodall Gondwe to be part of the scheduled crucial talks with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) delegation.
Minister of Information and Digitisation Gospel Kazako was the first to trash the assertions, making rounds on social media before Finance Minister Sosten Gwengwe voiced out on the same in a separate interview.
The two have since described the allegation as baseless; adding they were “just cheap anti-government propaganda aimed at diminishing strides government is making in resuscitating the country’s dwindling economy.”
Gwengwe said in a brief written response, “No, that’s not true. That’s fake social media propaganda. We have been in discussions with IMF every Wednesday 5pm for the past few months.”
When quizzed whether Gondwe, who had been engaged to spearhead similar tasks before in his precious portfolio as Minister of Finance in previous regimes, was part of the talks, Gwengwe wasted no time to distance government from the assertions:
“No. He’s not been involved in any way from day one,” he snapped.
On his part, Kazako claimed he could not believe why Malawians can even think of the rumours as true; “knowing the history of the aforementioned and his associated political party”
“This is a good example of fake news. For sure we can’t engage the same people and individuals who messed up this country by reporting lies to the IMF and others through (their) fraudulent Reserve Bank of Malawi).
“If we are in trouble today as a nation, it is as a result of the poor policy decisions the past regime made as regards the economic development of this country,” said the Minister.
The news on engaging the veteran economist, who is also the Northern Region President of the ousted Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has divided opinion on social media, with some commentators advising government to swallow its pride and seek counsel from his experience.
Others have since pointed at government is lacking capacity to effectively engage the IMF on the current economic mess.
However, Kazako has feigned confidence ahead of the meeting with IMF delegation slated for May 23 this year.
He said: “I insist we have what it takes as a nation to resuscitate the economy no matter how deep we may be in such an economic mess. We are very confident we will reach an understanding with the necessary development agencies including the IMF on fresh terms.”
Kazako has since ruled out working with experts from the previous regimes with special emphasis on those that might have had a hand in crippling the national economy.
“Going back to the same guys who’d been cooking up figures to paint rosy pictures on the global scene when all they were doing in power was to plunder the country’s hard-earned resources remains a non-starter for us. Yes, we need to fix the mess but I am sorry we can’t use the ones who got us here in the first place,” the Minister said.
Meanwhile, efforts to reach Gondwe for a comment on the same have proved futile as his phone went unanswered on several attempts.