15 July 2018

Malawi: Mutharika Prides Himself for Improving Malawi Economy, Lives of People

President Peter Mutharika has said the economy has improved in the last four years under his leadership and the welfare of the people has been better under the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) rule but economic experts say the economic gains are not trickling to ordinary people.

Speaking at a political rally on Saturday at Mpherembe in Mzimba, Mutharika said life is improving for most Malawians.

He said his administration has managed to bring down inflation from 34 per cent four years ago to single digit of seven percent.

"As of now, we have a historic US$9 billion in both local and international reserves. This is unprecedented. We have a record three months import cover," he said.

The Malawi leader said people's housing is improving in rural areas and grass thatched houses are being phased out in most villages of the country.

Notably, he said, the mode of transport is changing in most rural communities as many people can now afford motorcycles as they migrate from the bicycle.

"Above all, Malawians have enough food," said Mutharika who stressed that he inherited almost a bankrupt country from his predecessor Joyce Banda after the Cashgate corruption scandal.

But economic experts say the economic gains are not benefitting ordinary people, saying the economic policies are not ordinary person friendly.

DPP campaign for next year's elections is overshadowed by reports that President Mutharika may have benefitted from K145 million proceeds from a crime after an Indian businessman Zameer Karim deposited the money into the DPP bank account to which he is the sole signatory.

Mutharika has not commented on the issue but his spokesperson Mgeme Kalilani said the money was a gift and the President did not know that the money was from proceeds of K1.7 billion policegate.

Oxfam and other organisations have issued reports which show that the gap between the rich and the poor continues to widen.

Mutharika lined up development projects and programs which his administration has done and other projects and programs his administration intends to undertake.

In his address, Mutharika says his government will construct more tarmac roads in Mzimba to open up the biggest district in the country to other parts of the country.

"Mzimba District is vast and a lot of areas are located far apart; therefore, to connect them, there is need to construct more tarmac roads.

"To this effect, my government has plans to construct the Kafukule road which will be an extension from Jenda-Edingeni road whose construction is already underway," he said.

The President was responding to a request by Paramount Chief M'mbelwa who asked the government to consider constructing the Kafukule road.

"The Jenda-Edingeni road is very critical to the social economic development of many areas in the district.

"I need to also state here that I have plans to even extend this road so that it goes all the way to Kafukule and then link with the Nyika-Nthalire road to Chitipa," he said.

Mutharika further said soon his government would be constructing Manolo Bridge on South Rukulu River in the district which, he said, is critical as it links Mzimba north and south, administratively.


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