Malawi Poll Political Impasse Hits SMEs, Says Business Guru

A business guru has said the current political impasse over the highly contested results of the May 21 2019 Tripartite Election - presidential race - has hit hard the small and medium enterprises.

Mlombwa: The political uncertainty affected SMEs

President of Indigenous Business Association of Malawi (Ibam) Mike Mlombwa said the political impasse has slowed down businesses, negatively impacting on small and medium enterprises.

"For instance, the trade fair has been shifted further to other dates. This political bickering should stop.

"In fact, the government and other private entities have stopped procuring goods and services because of the political uncertainty," said Mlombwa.

He said it is sad that Malawi is standstill because of the political impasse the country is going through.

Initially, the trade fair was scheduled to take place from June 20 to 30 but Malawi Confederation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry chief executive officer Chancellor Kaferapanjira said that some countries have withdrawn their participation on the basis that Malawi is a 'no-go zone' country in the aftermath of the disputed May 21 Tripartite Elections.

The countries that withdrew include Indonesia, Tanzania, Kenya, Zambia and China, with Zimbabwe being the only country which did not withdraw.

Opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP) and UTM have gone to the Constitutional court to challenge the presidential poll.

President Peter Mutharika has since blamed MCP)and its president, Lazarus Chakwera for the political tension in the country and disrupting important national events, citing the postponement of the Malawi International Trade Fair as a result of the political uncertainty.

Meanwhile, some civil society organisations (CSOs) are holding mass protests on Thursday June 20 to demand the resignation of Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) chairperson Jane Ansah and her commissioners for allegedly compromising the electoral process.

In their letter notifying the city councils about the planned "peaceful nationwide demonstrations to demand greater transparency and accountability", the CSOs under the banner of Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) announced intention to hold nationwide demonstrations in Lilongwe, Blantyre, Zomba and Mzuzu.

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