The Minister of Information and Digitalization, Moses Kunkuyu, has told Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) that the President Dr. Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera administration is already working towards addressing the economic crisis facing the country.
Kunkuyu was responding to a statement HRDC leaders made at a press briefing on Sunday in which the coalition challenged Chakwera to address the social and economic problems Malawians are going through or risk nationwide demonstrations to call for an early election.
HRDC chairperson Gift Trapence expressed concern over the rising cost of living, fertilizer procurement fiasco, imminent food crisis, fuel and forex challenges and escalating debt crisis.
Trapence called for urgent attention to the highlighted problems, stressing that they are weighing Malawians down.
He warned that HRDC would be prompted mobilize Malawians to take to the streets if President Chakwera failed to demonstrate commitment to the demands.
The coalition further challenged the President to present sustainable and actionable solutions to the fuel crisis, ensure professional and transparent procurement, management, and timely distribution of fertilizer for the AIP program and provide a clear actionable short, medium, and long-term crisis plan outlining the path to economic recovery.
Reacting to the statement, Kunkuyu – who is also Government Chief Spokesperson – expressed appreciation to HRDC for what he termed as ‘amplifying what we have always been saying that this country’s foundations have been tampered with for the past two decades’.
“Economic problems do not surface immediately from the time you enjoyed the temporary sweets that have a lasting impact of your economy. Excess borrowing that was not invested for profitable gains, decades of corruption and improper procurement processes. All these dug a hole in our economy and coupled with natural shocks, the economy suffers and when this happens, prices of commodities rise, your currency become weak against major reserve currencies,” he said in a WhatsApp interview on Sunday afternoon.
He added, “Importation of strategic commodities become a challenge, people become enraged and they justifiably call on their governments to take act. This is happening at a time also when some of our borrowings have matured and we must repayment. Government and the president understands its role and we are here to address these challenges. People must be assured that everything that president Chakwera does, he does it for the betterment of Malawians lives.”