11 May 2017

Malawi: Chakwera Says World Bank's K60bn Is Concessional Loan to Malawi Not Free Money

Leader of Opposition in Parliament Lazarus Chakwera has said Malawi government should not give "a wrong impression" that the World Bank's$80 billion (about K60 billion) general budget support to the county is aid but it is a loan.

The Malawi Congress Party (MCP) president who described the resumption of budget support by the World Bank as an act of mercy, told parliament that when government benches stood in standing ovation to support the budget support, the opposition "felt vindicated that the donor era is not over. "

Chakwera, however, said the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP)-led government should not give a wrong impression to the general public that this US$80 million is free money "when the truth is that it is a loan. "

He said: "So, while DPP-led government wishes to call it a budgetary support, we should rather call it a concessional loan."

Chakwera said what the World Bank has done is an act of a mercy and government cannot afford to abuse public funds this time.

The MCP leader also pointed out that there is a misleading statement in the President Peter Mutharika's State of the Nation Address claiming that when he took over government, the quality of life for Malawians was at its lowest, saying in actual fact all the statistics are showing that the quality of people's lives is lower today than ever before.

"Poverty head count remains about 50 per cent and the over poor population is getting larger. Unemployment levels are worsening with teachers staying for over two years after graduating before being absorbed into the system.

"Those graduating from the universities stay over three years on average without being employed. The minimum wage is below US$1 per day. Salary increments are way below inflation," said Chakwera.

Chakwera said poverty us still a vicious circle today.

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