Malawians are unhappy with Chakwera over reckless, senseless Kwacha devaluation

Lazarus Chakwera

Malawians across the country are angry with President Lazarus Chakwera’s Tonse Alliance government due to the reckless and senseless 44% Kwacha devaluation.

The devaluation comes amid an already volatile economic situation with high inflation, forex, fuel, medical suppliers shortages, and among others.

After a day, devaluation was made, Chakwera Tonse government hiked fuel prices and electricity tariffs by 44% instead of putting measures to cushion locals.

Following the devaluation, Malawians have been panicking to access goods and services as some shops including GameStore remain closed especially in Blantyre and Lilongwe.

At the entrance of Game Stores both in Blantyre and Lilongwe, consumers were greeted with a notice that the shop would be closed till Monday, November 13, 2023.

A Lilongwe-based businessperson, Faith Banda told Nation Newspaper that she rushed to one of the wholesale shops in the capital city to buy supplies in anticipation of price adjustments.

“We got information about the local currency devaluation by the Reserve Bank, prompting us to act swiftly and secure goods before the inevitable price adjustments,” she said.

Banda expressed concern that the devaluation will likely slow down her business as she expects consumers’ buying power to be affected.

To confirm Banda’s fears, as of Saturday, November 11, basic needs items including soap, sugar, and groceries have gone up and many are unable to access commodities.

In a random interview across the country, locals are not happy with Chakwera’s leadership over the devaluation amid an already sickening economy.

Many are questioning the legality of Chakwera leadership in devaluing the Kwacha without putting measures to cushion the locals against its impact.

“Now, everything has gone up while in the middle of the month and also towards the growing season. Where will get extra money to meet our needs? Chakwera could have done better than this,” worried Rumphi resident Dalitso Mkandawire.

Mangochi business lady Marium Katunga chipped in, “With this devaluation, we need extra money for the business. An item that I was ordering at MK40,000 now is MK60,000. Where will I go to get an extra MK20,00?”.

A farmer, Tinkhani Mkandawire, who resides in Luwinga Township in Mzuzu and wanted to buy maize seed, said he was shocked by the new prices.

Similarly, fertilizer prices were also raised in many leading shops, especially for Urea and NPK.

“I came here with MK160 000 hoping to buy two bags of Urea, but I ended up paying MK172 000. At home, I was told it’s K80 000 per bag, but that has changed to MK86 000,” said 56-year-old Rhoda Mkonongo of Luzi in Mzimba.

She said she borrowed an additional MK12,000 to buy the fertilizer.

“We need the government of the people that put our interest first. You can devalue Kwacha by about 81% in a year without putting measures cushioning the poor. We gave Chakwera a vote to make Malawi better than this,” worried Faith Chikunda from Machinjiri, Blantyre.

This is coming barely two years before Malawians are going to elections in 2025.

Since assuming power in 2020, Chakwera has been struggling to fix an ailing economy characterized by high inflation and cost of living, food, forex, fuel, and medical drug shortages.

Despite Malawi’s economic crisis, Chakwera continues enjoying global trotting while draining hard-earned taxes without shame.


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