Each Malawian has half a million debt: Chakwera borrows K730 billion in 9 months

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President Lazarus Chakwera and his administration have borrowed about K730 billion in 9 months and now  each Malawian has a debt of about K600,000.

Finance Minister Sosten Gwengwe said at the National Youth Conference in Lilongwe yesterday that the rate of borrowing is unsustainable.

In June last year, Malawi’s public debt was about K5.65 trillion but it jumped to K6.38 trillion in March 2022, which means the Lazarus Chakwera’s administration has been borrowing an average of K81 billion a month.

The 2022/23 National Budget which Malawi started using in April is pegged at K2.84 trillion but out of the amount, government expects to borrow K884 billion.

“In October there is a debt maturity which is coming up; it’s around K352 billion and it must be paid for loans that were committed not yesterday but sometime back. This is a cycle that ought to be broken,” Gwengwe said.

He, however, added that government is implementing expenditure control measures to reduce the debt. He said that one of the measures to be implemented is a complete travel ban.

But speaking to the local media, spokesperson for the main opposition Democratic Progressive Party on finance matters Ralph Jooma said austerity measures should apply to all people and should not leave out those in authority.

“We have to live within our means, but we are saying these measures should apply uniformly; they must not be selective or hypocritical. I will tell you that there has been forex flight when these senior officials travel abroad and its foreign companies that benefit at the expense of our economy,” he said.

 

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