President Joyce Banda’s speech in Parliament yesterday should have been an opportunity for her to spell out the basis on which her government would achieve economic recovery in 2013n when experts, including her own Minister of Economic Planning and Development Goodall Gondwe, puts the recovery period beyond 18 months.
The speech afforded her the opportunity to answer critics, who are calling for well articulated solutions and a clear road map to economic recovery, other than habitual assurances that austerity measures her government is implementing are the right cure for the country’s weak economy. The missed opportunity to shut up her detractors would only embolden their perception that she fails to match rhetoric with action, but only dances to the tune of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and other Western donors.
Granted, budgetary support in the first half of 2012/13 financial year increased and domestic revenue beat its target, but the President fell short of explaining how this would translate into availability of drugs in public hospitals, for instance, to avoid preventable deaths.
It is for this reason that we agree with the opposition and the civil society that we have been bombarded by a litany of achievements before. Having talked the talk all this time, we believe it is time the President walked the talk on recovering the economy