LILONGWE (MalawiTalk) – Malawi’s debt stock–combination of domestic and foreign– is at K4.1 trillion or 65 percent of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP), President Dr Lazarus Chakwera has said in a television address on Sunday.
The spike in debt poses a significant risk to the economy especially now that the country when the country if battling the coronavirus pandemic.
In his speech, Chakwera said the country has no “unlimited amounts of money to do whatever we fancy.”
He said the country should now be making decisions within the reality of its economic situation.
The President said: “Our situation is that we are a country with a debt of K4.1 trillion, and so we do not have all the money in the world to fight this pandemic. “
Chakwera, therefore, applauded the efforts of private citizens who are already running capital campaigns to raise money to go towards the virus pandemic response.
One such campaigns is run by one of Malawi’s well-known social commentator, Mr Stanley Onjezani Kenani on Facebook, aimed to buy equipment and supplies to provide frontline medical workers to care for those battling the virus.
“I would like to call on private sector companies to follow this example and practice their corporate social responsibility in this critical hour.
“If the Malawian people have been there for your business and given your company profits, you own the Malawian people life-saving support during this dark hour. We need all hands-on-deck,” said Chakwera.
The President said Malawians must all accept that the scale of the pandemic demands a change of priorities.
He said when a ship is at sea and it comes across unexpected rapids and is hit by an expected storm, “only a foolish captain would insist on maintaining the same course.”