2014 Malawi’s Chance to Renew Relationship with Donors-Justice Link
The year 2014 is a biggest chance for Malawi to renew its bilateral relationships with donor countries as the current government will be leaving office, Justice Link’s Director Justine Dzonzi said.
This he said will be possible even if the current President Bingu wa Mutharika is replaced by his brother Professor Peter Mutharika because all the donors will need is a change of government. The later is the torch bearer for the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).
Some Malawi’s bilateral and traditional donors such as Britain are withholding their budgetary support to Malawi citing poor political and economic governance among other issues.
Speaking on a local radio, Dzonzi said despite everything that has been going on between Malawi and its donors, the Paris Club where Britain and other EU donors are, is showing interest to renew its relationship with Malawi citing the British Prime Minister who said Malawi should correct some things for their relationship to be renewed.
“Then the biggest chance we have to repair that relationship is that the current presidency is coming to an end in 2014 and that gives this country an opportunity to start afresh with our bilateral and traditional donors,” Dzonzi said
He said this is not the first time Malawi has had sour relationships with its donors because between 2000 and 2004, Malawi went against Denmark a thing that led to the closure of DANIDA office in the country.
However, things he said changed in 2004 with the changing of government when the current president Bingu wa Mutharika replaced Bakili Muluzi.
Considering the relationship between the two Mutharikas Dzonzi said: “It would be unfair to judge the younger brother (Peter) on the basis of the bigger brother (Bingu) because it’s possible they differ. But even if they don’t differ, politically speaking, the coming of a new government is a perfect opportunity to change things.”
He said donors would still come even if Peter becomes President because donors would have no choice but to deal wit him. “Normally when there is a new President there is a new commitment because everybody says; we want to give him a benefit of doubt. This is how donor aid resumed in 2004 when Bingu succeeded Muluzi,” said Dzonzi.
He also said the memo which came out from Britain after their envoy was deported out of Malawi had some ‘kind words’ for Peter Mutharika where he was described as ‘very progressive’ adding that “if we use this as a window of what donors think of Peter that could be a chance that donors will resume.”
Malawians are expected to vote in Presidential and Parliamentary elections in 2014.