Minister of Finance Goodall Gondwe has been caught lying over Malawi’s debt levels.
In December, Gondwe told Parliament that the country’s debt is at K2.4 trillion including a domestic debt of K1.1 trillion.
The minister also claimed that the national debt is just over 25 percent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). He said the debt is manageable and Malawians “should begin to get worried if the debt exceeds 45 per cent of the GDP.”
However, social commentator Onjezani Kenani has noted that the minister was not telling the truth and the national debt could be higher.
“On 6 December, finance minister Goodall Gondwe told us that the national debt is slightly over 25 per cent of the GDP. He said then, “We should begin to get worried if the debt exceeds 45 per cent of the GDP.”
“Now, in this week’s edition of The Economist, they say Malawi’s debt is between 50 and 75 per cent of the GDP. And this is only external debt. Add domestic borrowing, we could very well be 100 per cent of GDP in debt. Is Gondwe telling us lies? If so, why?” wrote Kenani on Facebook.
Economic analysts have recently been warning government over its appetite for borrowing saying government should only borrow for essential services.
But last month Gondwe dismissed claims that government likes to borrow saying the current administration is planning to reduce debt by repaying some of it and by progressively reducing the annual additions to the domestic debt.