Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Malawi in Trouble

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) says the country is off-track.
The World Bank can only offer financial support to the impoverished Southern African Development Community member state after getting the green light from its twin sister, IMF- a twin sister who now says the country has left the designated rail for the unknown.
That means CABS (meaning, Common Approach to Budgetary Support)- a grouping of Malawi's development partners- cannot release over K21 billion in financial support. Their contribution is inter-twinned with IMF's approval, too.
Britain, Malawi's traditional bilateral donor- and until two years ago, Malawi's largest bilateral donor- is still angry that its envoy to Malawi, Fergus Cochraine-Dyet, got the a painful kick from rom President Bingu wa Mutharika's Made-in-China boot.
It thus came as no surprise that the former colonial master announced it was reviewing its relationship with Malawi, and promised no financial support.
Meanwhile, Mutharika is busy trumpling upon human rights and freedoms: freedom of expression, the press and the right to legal redress have become so anathema to his development agenda that he is pushing infamous bills down the throats of Democratic Progressive Party legislators.
The opposition, being in minority, can do nothing- except, perhaps, and occasionally, adopting the marching-out-of-Parliament expression of displeasure to send messages of disapproval.
New political parties, including the People's Party of Vice-President Joyce Banda, are being denied the right to registration as enshrined in the Republican Constitution.
This is happening despite Court orders to register concerned parties.
DPP Cadres have started beating up traditional leaders, too, the latest case being in Balaka where a chief was stripped naked in broad day-light.
Now, Malawians have to make do with a Zero-deficit Budget that has puzzled the IMF, World Bank and economists. For the ordinary Malawian, it is not the puzzle they are concerned with, it is the hard, bigger tax portions they have to deal with now.
It is like milking a thin cow.
Malawi is in a 'loud' crisis!

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