The biggest problem with Malawian society and the economy is that of ownership and unequal distribution of wealth. It is rumoured that only 5% of the population control 95% of the country’s wealth and it is no secret that a large majority of this 5% are Malawians of Asian origin.

“Your country, our money,” this was a popular phrase by Malawians of Asian origin and sadly it is quite true. Just take a look around town and you will observe that all the major private businesses are owned by Asians. They have the biggest houses, drive the fanciest cars, wear the latest designer fashion and live the most lavish lifestyles, while the indigenous Malawian suffers in poverty, walking around barefoot living on a diet of nisma and beans.

With all this in mind the issue of ownership of the economy comes into play. Since all the money our economy makes is not in the hands of indigenous Malawians, but rather foreigners, therefore these people have no interest in investing back in the country or helping fight poverty, but would rather send it to their banks in the United Kingdom, India or Pakistan(capital flight) leaving Malawi with forex and fuel problems.

Many Asian business men are in Malawi primarily for the reason of milking our economy. It is a common secret that Asian business men hoard forex in their homes and many do not pay taxes, depriving the country of the forex it needs to import fuel and other goods and also depriving government of essential tax revenue.

Furthermore Asians do not care about black Malawians so they will not go to the villages to build boreholes, schools and homes for the poor.

I believe to fix Malawi’s economic problems; the first step is to put more major businesses in the hands of indigenous Malawians and just like in South Africa after the apartheid era, the government should undertake a programme of economic black empowerment and help Malawians, especially the youth have major businesses that would benefit the real Malawian, because our people will never commit any capital flight or hoard any forex, and will always give back to the poor in society.

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ZIMENE MUMAKONDA

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