Business commentator Fredrick Changaya has urged political leaders and aspiring parliamentarians to declare their business policies ahead of the May 20 elections.
In an interview with The Nation on Wednesday in Blantyre, Changaya said the declaration will give the private sector and voters time to scrutinise each political business plan before the polling day.
Changaya’s comments come amid lack of clear policies on how aspirants will ensure growth of the sector, deemed the engine of Malawi and any country’s economy.
“While we appreciate that political leaders produce manifestos, what we would like to see are business-friendly policies that will encourage local companies to succeed through exports and local investments,” said Changaya.
He said such policies should clearly be spelt out for accountability’s sake when they are ushered to power.
“We don’t want mere rhetoric, but action on business and economic policies they would tell Malawians at this time of elections. Gone are the days when leaders were not accountable for any promise made,” he said.
Changaya called for policies that will restrict importation of some goods and services which can be made in Malawi.
“Malawi loses foreign exchange to some of the imported goods. How can one import tissues, toothpicks, vegetables, meat products, among others, yet local companies manufacture them,” he said, adding: “When you import such goods, you do not create labour, generate forex and collect more tax from institutions and individuals. In the end, the country’s economy suffers, something that results in retrenchments and lack of job opportunities. The civil society organisations (CSO) should also assist us in lobbying Malawians to use locally made products.”
But political parties or independent aspirants have delayed releasing their manifestos/policies, due to what they say fears that their ideas could be stolen.