Cut the Chaff
Ted Kalebe is a jolly good fellow. I know him fairly well, having worked with the seasoned economist and bureaucrat at the Ministry of Finance’s local development financing arm—the Local Development Fund Technical Support Team (LDF-TST)—where he has been its executive director.
So, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) came to Malawi, peeped into our little bundle of forex at the Reserve Bank of Malawi, saw an uptick in our import cover there (albeit a statistically insignificant one) and then, lo and behold, declared as "commendable" government’s implementation of the economic programme—the Extended Credit Facility (ECF)—it supports.
I was not surprised to read on Thursday that the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) has for the third time since December 2012 maintained the benchmark bank rate at 25 percent.
So, Joyce Banda, Malawi’s first female State President and Africa’s second after Liberia’s 24th and current leader, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, has clocked one year in office!
I wonder how Noel Masangwi, him of "Malawi is not ready for a female president" fame must be feeling right now after watching (with clenched teeth and fists I am sure) Banda clocking one year in office!
I hate to say it, but I told you so
Two weeks ago, I made the following prediction and explained why that would be the case:
Even maintaining the bank rate at 25 percent (by Reserve Bank of Malawi)—despite all fundamentals dictating an upward adjustment—will not stabilise the kwacha, let alone leave interest rates intact.
Something is not adding up in the way President Joyce Banda has been intervening in procurement processes in the public sector as well as getting embroidered in issues that should otherwise be dealt with by sector ministries, government departments and agencies.
The Bingu wa Mutharika death inquiry report has changed the national conversation from economic hardships to an examination of the rough road that the former Head of State was dragged through—literally—just before and soon after his death.