Expert warns government on political spending

A Chancellor College based economic expert has warned that next year’s tripartite elections are likely to have a negative bearing on the country’s economy.

Professor Ben Kalua said since Malawi is running on an election budget, government is likely to spend some money during campaigns in order to be re-elected into power and this will increase pressure on spending.

“This phenomenon is called election year budget, all over the world politicians do this during the year preceding the elections.”

“We see that spending becomes greater in election year than any other year before,” Professor Kalua told YFM in a telephone interview on Monday.

He said in Malawi it will be worse because of corruption and theft of public funds.

Kalua added that as a result there will be great expenditure which under normal circumstances the prospects of stealing also expands.

“If government spends on social services, no one will have a problem with that because people want such services from the government but if the money is spent on political campaigns, then we have a big problem,” Kalua added.

The analyst emphasized that Malawi’s economy is in a terrible state since the government have lost money in the hands of individuals who cannot account the source of their assets.

“So am very pessimistic about our going forward unless there is real change in our leadership mindset,” he said.

Kalua’s sentiments comes barely a week after the African Development Bank-ADB expressed concern in its African Economic Outlook Malawi report that next year’s elections are likely to scare away foreign direct investors.

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