Malawi: New Government, Costly Livelihood

While many Malawians seem to be filled with hope since Joyce Banda became Malawi's president, some Malawians are coming up with innovative ways of making ends meet because of high cost of living.

Some youths have explored how best to make a living from the best possible initiatives in towns. This is amid fuel, forex and power shortages whose improved situation is yet to trickle down to everyone.

Discussing shortages of essential supplies in Malawi, Richard Chirombo writes:

Fuel shortages continue. It has, particularly, been worse the past three weeks.
Foreign exchange shortage is another remarkable feature, both in the last two years of the forgotten regime of the Democratic Progressive Party, and the April 5, 2012-born regime of Joyce Banda.
Essential drugs still cannot be found in Malawi's public hospitals.
The only thing that runs in abundance is hope.
There seems to be renewed faith in Banda's regime, a regime that tames lie-peddlers such as Finance Minister Ken Lipenga.

Blogger Vincent Kumwenda in Lilongwe shows how residents making money out of wooden bridges. The entrepreneurs are neither licensed nor pay taxes to the city council for trading along and on Lilongwe river:

Malawian youths earn a living from collections they make on a wooden brige they constructed across Lilongwe River. Photo source:

It is a useless river to those who simply pass it everyday.It is one of the dirtiest rivers around and no meaningful business can come out of it. But for Dalitso Chimwaza it is where they earn their living. Chimwaza and several other friends earn a living from collections they make on a wooden brige they constructed across Lilongwe River.

I counted four bridges ran by dfferent groups of people who are always busy collecting money and giving back changes to their customers. Some people can pass through the bridges several times each day. The bridges are made out of long blue gum trees and planks sourced from the nearby market.

This is happening while Malawi's parliament is discussing the 406 billion Kwacha  (est 1.63 billion US Dollars) budget for July 2012-June 2013. The so called recovery budget was presented by Finance Minister Ken Lipenga

Meanwhile, Malawians are still coming to grips with a nation without former president Bingu wa Mutharika:

Malawi's president Joyce Banda speaking at the DFID conference in 2010. Photo shared on Flickr by DFID under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) .

It has been a roller coaster ride for the warm heart of Malawi in the past 67 days since the demise of the mighty Ngwazi Professor Bingu wa Mutharika. Alot has been done and undone by the ‘new’ regime that took over from the fallen African son. Things have been moving too fast to the extent that this blog could not keep up with he pace of events. Information flow was and is still not stable yet as it was in the past months. Fancy you can hear of a purported change in government positions from mere people even days before the official announcement. Rumours have been in constant supply in the past 67 days even more than the nearly 8 years of Professor Mutharika's rule. What is worrying me most is that most of these rumours prove to be true. Somebody ought to tighten the grip on the information flow!

However there are several issues worthy mentioning on this blog. It took me time of compile these issues because of their sensitivity and how they keep on changing with the pasaage of time.

Following the death of President Bingu wa Mutharika in April, Malawi sworn in Vice President Joyce Banda as its president at the parliament in Lilongwe on Saturday 7 April, 2012. She becomes the 4th but first Malawi's female president and will serve for the remainder of Mutharika's term to May 2014.

President Joyce Banda is the second female president in Africa after Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia.

Mutharika had been under heavy local and international pressure to improve political and socio-economic situation for Malawi during his administration.

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