The Indigenous Business Association of Malawi (IBAM) says people should exercise patience with President Joyce Bandaâ€™s government, saying the former Vice-President has inherited enormous challenges.
Ibam president Mike Mlombwa said in an interview last Wednesday that the sudden death of president Bingu wa Mutharika has shocked the business community.
Mlombwa, however, said Bandaâ€™s presidency has given hope to the business community, especially small and medium entrepreneurs because that is the area the new President has invested a lot of her time.
“We remain shocked at the death of the president and we send our condolences to the President Her Excellency Joyce Banda, the first lady Madame Callista Mutharika, children and the entire family, including the whole nation,” he said.
Mlombwa said Ibam presented its concept of black empowerment to the Mutharikaâ€™s administration and that although the former president seemed to have bought the idea, it was not fully absorbed as a government policy.
“My appeal to my fellow businesspeople is that we should not expect miracles within a short period, the country faces a lot of challenges and it will not be an easy task for the new government to bring back the country to its lost glory,” he said.
He said there were some people who are only good at rhetoric, but have no idea on how the business situation is like on the ground.
Mlombwa said Bandaâ€™s administration needs a blend of both economists and people with business experience.
“I think merit should be a catch word when she is making appointments. The country faces many challenges and one of the things affecting indigenous businesses is the invasion of foreigners.
“We are not saying we do not need foreign investors, but let them come with real investment, especially in manufacturing. We should not be scrambling for the same space in trading business. The new government can help us in that area and also encourage partnerships,” he said.
On the black empowerment, Mlombwa said the expectation from the business community was that the new government would embrace the concept as neighbouring countries have done.
“We request our President to ensure that the national cake is shared equally. It should not be a few individuals enjoying at the expense of the whole nation. Those indigenous Malawians who can afford to provide services should be given an opportunity,” he said.
Renowned businessperson and managing director of Mulli Brothers Group of Companies Leston Mulli also appealed for the business community to support the administration, saying government was a major business partner.