Malawi’s leading consumer rights activist John Kapito has slammed the Joyce Banda government, accusing it of lacking sound economic policies and instead just copying and pasting what the IMF wants.
“In fact this country is being ruled by World Bank and IMF. This government is not in charge but just following the dictates of donors,” Kapito told ZBS in an exclusive interview which was also aired on radio on Sunday and is also on pod cast.
“This government is failing to protect its citizens because it is not in charge. Its like we are in a vehicle that has lost direction and control.”
For example, he said the Automatic Pricing Mechanism – that local fuel prices be dictated by forces on the international market – is not ideal for a weak economy like Malawi.
“Consumers still need the stabilization fund but the problem is that the government just listened to everything from IMF,” said Kapito
Kapito, mocked by many as life President of the Consumers Association of Malawi, also warned President Banda of political bootlickers that have surrounded her.
“I told the President when she just took over that she must watch out for these people who misled the late President Mutharika. They have now started spoiling her. One wonders why she didn’t hire new people, with new ideas,” said Kapito.
He said if the current government is not ready to rule, it must resign and call for early elections.
This statement has angered State House, saying Mr. Kapito is an angry man because he was not given a position in government.
But Kapito laughed off this, saying he doesn’t need any job in government after serving as Executive Director for the Malawi Human Rights Commission until recently when his term expired.
“This is the same thing we had with the Ntabas (Heatherwick) and the Vuwas (Kaunda). I am explaining what the people are complaining about. It is not about me. I don’t need a job. I was in government and I never cowered down, I told Bingu the same things when I was in government. So what job are they talking about,” charged Kapito.
MHRC is a government institution but Kapito managed to attack Mutharika and earned himself the respect as true human rights activist.
Asked if he eyes the presidency just like late Mutharika accused him, Kapito said he has never dreamed of being in politics.
“Just like I told Bingu, I maintain that I am not interested in politics and I will never be. They should listen to us and hear out what we are telling them,” he said.