CDEDI demands Tchereni’s public apology for his insensitive statement

Sylvester Namiwa

The Centre for Democracy and Development Initiatives (CDEDI) has demanded Secretary to the Treasury Betchani Tchereni to make a public apology to Malawians for his insensitive statement which is in a video clip that has gone viral on social media that voters must stop threatening politicians with their votes.

In the video clip, he is filmed making careless and highly insensitive statements that commodities must be priced in their right manner and voters should stop threatening politicians with their votes.

In the video clip, he is arguing that the government must not be threatened to hike the price of fuel observing that other people are coming from Zambia to buy the country’s fuel because of the cheaper price.

“Threatening politicians to hike the price of fuel will result in plunging the country’s economy in an awkward situation simply because of a vote,” he said in a video clip.

Writing in a statement dated 8th July 2024 signed by its Executive Director Sylvester Namiwa, the CDEDI has described the statement made by Tchereni as an insult to the Malawian voters whose only sin is demanding what is worth of their votes as the country’s citizens.

The CDEDI says the video clip has sent shock waves down the spines of well-meaning Malawians especially those who used to listen and believe Tchereni’s economic commentaries before he decided to join the public service as Secretary to the Treasury.

The organization has reminded the Secretary to the Treasury that as of December 2023, public debt stood at a staggering K3.1 trillion of which K7.1 trillion was external while K6.1 trillion was domestic claiming that the citizens are holding the duty bearers to account for these public debts.

“Before the devaluation of the local currency by 44 per cent, external debt was much lower than the domestic one, at a round K3 trillion and currently, public debt is hovering at around K16 trillion,” reads the statement in part.

The CDEDI says it is crystal clear that domestic debt is ballooning at a time when Malawians are calling for external debt relief, attributing this to a unique appetite for borrowing for political financing and advising him that Malawi is in democracy, power belongs to the voters.

The organization says it is an open secret that the Malawi economy has deteriorated under his watch due to among others, state-sponsored corruption, low productivity, high inflation, and high cost of living.

It has advised Tchereni that by being the Secretary to the Treasury, he needs to work in silence to meet the delicate balance between political wishes and harsh economic realities on the ground and not turn himself into a mouthpiece of the same people responsible for the country’s mess.

The CDEDI has finally given him seven days to demand an apology or to resign, warning him that should he fail to do so, the Malawian voters will force him to resign.


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