International Monetary Fund (IMF) managing director Christine Lagarde’s visit to Traditional Authority Chitukula’s area in Dzenza, Lilongwe on Saturday revealed that devaluation and high interest rates have not spared a single Malawian.
During her visit to the local women, who do their business with loans from the Micro-Loan Foundation, Lagarde was again confronted with cries of the biting effects of devaluation and high interest rates.
One of the loans beneficiaries, Elizabeth Lembetsani, said although the loans have improved their lives, the major challenge was the devaluation of the local currency and high interest rates from the lending institution which are now at an average of 24 percent.
“It is our plea that you lobby government to assist us to solve the problems that are arising because of the devaluation of the kwacha,” said Lembetsani.
Her sentiments were echoed by village head Kasenjere.
Lagarde assured the women that the problems being experienced are temporary.
“The whole purpose of devaluation is to make sure you reinstall the equilibrium and that everyone learns to live within means without importing. Little by little, we will learn to do things on our own and then our businesses can grow and transform to exporting,” said Lagarde.
During the visit, Lagarde met members of three women groups that acquired loans from Micro-Loan Foundation and handed over a cheque worth K1.685 million in support of the Micro-Loan Foundation.