Chakwera urges CSOs to support Govt’s  plea for debt relief


President Lazarus has urged civil society organizations in Malawi to support the government’s plea for debt relief as his administration is struggling to control the national debt which has hit over K7 trillion.

Chakwera made the call on Wednesday when he met leaders of the Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC).

According to a communique released by the HRDC, the leaders of the rights grouping during the meeting expressed concern over high levels of unemployment and shortage of forex which has led to high prices of goods in the country.

“We urged the government to prioritize high impact projects that would stimulate private sector growth, ultimately leading to job creation and economic prosperity.

“HRDC also urged the president to pay close attention to the supply of forex and fuel as these two issues have an immediate and direct effect on the economy,” the communique reads.

In his response, Chakwera said his government would make efforts to curb excessive borrowing and control debt which according to Ministry of Finance data was at K7.9 trillion as of December 2022.

“[The president] appealed to civil society organisations to support the government’s call for debt relief,” reads part of the HRDC communique.

During the meeting, HRDC also expressed concern over the slow pace of development projects under the Chakwera administration saying this has resulted in loss of billions of Kwacha in government funds.

The grouping mentioned road projects such as Njakwa-Livingstonia Road, Neno-Tsangano Road, Mangochi-Makanjira and Rumphi-Nthalire-Chitipa Road some of which have not commenced despite being allocated funds.

Chakwera in his response assured that his government will ensure timely completion of infrastructure projects.  

He also urged the HRDC to provide checks and balance and monitor development projects.

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