Last week, we saw the Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) publishing various bank charges and rates that a number of our commercial banks are charging.
What alarmed me most was the disparity between the banksâ€™ lending rate and the savings rate! Are we really serious with such differences that people will be encouraged to save at all?
It would have made some sense if the difference was between 5 to 8 percentage points, BUT wait, for a difference of as much as 38 percentage points, who in their right mind will be encouraged to save?
We hear of our banks making HUGE profits and dishing out huge bonuses to their managers, all this at the expense of a poor man who is struggling with a mortgage which is beyond the average manâ€™s reach!
We know times are hard, but for Christâ€™s sake, RBM, please bring sanity in our banking sector! â€”BJA, â€”Via e-mail
Government has failed to handle ongoing strikes because it awaits for individual departments to take action. The yields shall be an explosion that will not be contained later.
On the University of Malawi (Unima) story, the university staff has to take the current offer though not disclosed; otherwise, the strike wonâ€™t end with the current governmentâ€™s economic cancer. I was shocked when I even failed to access an application form due to the strike and thatâ€™s denying me my right to education
Â On Fridayâ€™s exclusive story: Aaron Sosolaâ€™s alleged actions (true or not) just shows how unprofessional some people may be and the best way is to suspend him rather than keeping him in the technical committee where he behaves as if he owns the government body, the Central Medical Stores Trust (CMST). â€”Via SMS
It is very unfair for government not to respect Unima. Where is Malawi going? Government must know that sitima imakoma akamayendetsa wina. Nanga ma civil servants akayamba kunyanyala zikhala bwaa?â€”Via e-mail
Whatâ€™s JB thinking on the 900 students intake in the Unima? What does she want the rest of us to do if we are not being included in the group? â€”Via SMS
Hold the strikes in a mature way. Chancellor College (Chanco) is coming from an eight-month break due to the academic freedom saga, now we canâ€™t afford another holiday. Yes, money is required but where will the government get it to give MPs 158 percent, lecturers 113 percent, city council 150 percent, etc? Is Malawi full of milk and honey?
Ladies and gentlemen, if you are not satisfied with your pay anywhere, just quit the job and create yours. The problem with us is that we want money even when we do not make money for the government or the companies we are working for. We will continue to suffer unless we change our attitude towards work. â€”Via e-mail
Human made crisis
The Malawi government devalued the currency and then left it to float. Because of the previous autocratic leadership of the late president Bingu wa Mutharika, Malawi was forced to devalue its currency by over 40 percent. With that kind of a large form of devaluation, government was supposed to demonstrate its core purpose which is to safeguard the welfare of Malawians (especially the middle class).
This implies that the government was supposed to provide either a uniform salary increment or one with a ratio where people with lower salaries were supposed to get a higher share of the increment. The raise was supposed to reflect the percentile of the devaluation. This was inevitable.
However, the government decided to stay put: Dancing to the demands of the donors while disregarding the anticipated demands of Malawians. When that happens, the government is thought not to be concerned about its people. This is why we have these strikes by different workers with the same grades demanding different levels of increments. As such, the strikes for salary increments are inevitable.
This, therefore, demonstrates that our crisis is human made. â€”Concerned citizen