Malawi business and rights leaders say although it may be difficult to compensate businesses that have been affected by the cancellation of the AU Summit, government can explore other avenues of bailing out the â€˜victimsâ€™.
Indigenous Business Association of Malawi (Ibam)Â president Mike Mlombwa said in an interview on Tuesday, it would be difficult to expect any bailout from government considering that businesses went into expansions looking at opportunities offered by the summit.
Mlombwa said the tourism sector has been hit hard with the cancellation since people started preparations a long time ago in terms of renovating and refurbishing lodging places and expanding fleet for car hire firms.
Said Mlombwa: â€œSudan has wronged us because this summit could have offered an opportunity to Malawi and it has not considered the fact that we have a lot of problems and all they could do is to insist on coming to the summit.â€
Undule Mwakasungula of the Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation (CHRR) blamed the African Union saying the shifting of the summit shows the continental body needs urgent reforms.
Said Mwakasungula: â€œIt will be difficult for government to bail [the businesses] out in view of the current economic situation. But, whatever the case, I am sure other alternatives can be found in making sure that those who invested are not more victimised for taking loan from the banks.
â€œBut maybe, for those who went into contractual obligation with government, a way might be found to compensate them as any contract stipulates termination of contract and how that can be sorted out.â€
Mwakasungula said the AU needs urgent reforms to meet the aspirations of the African people and that the organisation has to be accountable to the African people by, among other things, striving to protect their rights.
â€œWe need reforms so that leaders such as al-Bashir are answerable for their crimes and that is the role of the AU to make sure it effects that. Reforms in the AU are long overdue,â€ said Mwakasungula.
Minister of Information and Civic Education Moses Kunkuyu said government would need time before responding to issues of what will happen after the shifting of the summit to Ethiopia.
Malawi Confederation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry executive director Chancellor Kaferapanjira is on record as saying the decision to cancel the summit was a welcome move because of the persisting economic woes.