By Linda Kwanjana
Minister of Finance and Economic Planning Simplex Chithyola Banda has started his job by engaging different economic players and Civil Society leaders in order to discuss ways and means to recover the economy.
The Minister has already met Members of Parliament, Civil Society and is expected to meet Chiefs, members of the clergy and other stakeholders.
Speaking in an interview Chithyola said the meetings are so important because correcting the economic damage is a collective responsibility.
“As a country we are in a situation where we are suffering from the distress of other people’s mistakes. DPP left this country in a great debt burden and the only way for us to recover from these economic challenges is by engaging people at different levels. So far we have engaged faith leaders, CSOs, parliamentarians and currently, we are now engaging NGOs and CSOs,” he said.
Chithyola Banda said the idea behind these meetings is to get feedback from them to fit into a strategy that is being developed which will help to recover, develop and protect the economy.
“So these interface meetings are very important, we are moving towards economic transformation and recovery,” he said.
He has since commended the CSOs and other stakeholders for their response.
“We are getting overwhelming response in support. But I think the most important thing is the understanding that each one of the groups that we’ve met, have displayed that previously they didn’t know the degree and the severity of the economic damage that was there. Now, they are quite aware of how bad the situation is in terms of how the economy has been damaged,” he said.
Chithyola-Banda said Malawi is in this situation which is manmade because some people somewhere somehow did not do their work well, and that the current regime inherited unsustainable debt, which as a country needed to manage in order to recover.
“But when we experienced recovery, we needed to develop it by diversifying economic activities. When our economy is on track, we need to protect it by putting up legal and regulatory frameworks legislations that will make sure that it doesn’t leave room for somebody to play around with our economy,” said
In his remarks Minister of Local Government and National unity Richard Chimwendo Banda who is also the Leader of Parliament commended the Minister of Finance for the engagements.
Chimwendo said there is need of making sure that each and every one participates and contributes to the performance of the economy.
“We are facing quite a lot of challenges and solutions to come from everybody else. But also it shows that the government is listening and also taking much priority in what people talk about the economy,” he said.
He said it is also very critical that the stakeholders appreciate what is happening globally.
That is why more importantly, we are thanking the Minister of Finance for coming up with these dialogues which started few days ago.
Chimwendo said the faith community, members of parliament, political leadership, civil society organizations, chiefs and others are crucial that is what it means to have interface and talk about progress of the country.
Former Malawi First President Bon Kalindo and Council for Non Governmental organization (CONGOMA) Executive Director Ronard Mtonga have hailed Government for these engagements.
In his remarks Mtonga said demonstrations should always be last resort but dialogue should always be the key.
During the interface, Minister of agriculture Sam Kawale and Minister of Transport Jacob Hara were in attendance and gave their presentations regarding their Ministries.