Chihana the youth minister condemns DPP
Minister of Youth Development and Social Welfare Enoch Chihana on Friday claimed that the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) government left forex amounting to US$174,000 only before it went out of government.
Chihana, who is also Member of Parliament for Rumphi Central constituency, made the claim during the commemoration of the International Youth Day in Salima.
However, a Reserve Bank Monthly Economic Review of April, the month DPP left government, shows that gross official reserves had US$120.8million which contradicts Chihana's claim.
"Let me speak as cabinet minister of a government that took power from the DPP. We found there was no money as all of it was plundered by the [DPP] regime.
"Secondly what we call forex reserve there was just $174,000. This is little money that one Asian with a shop can have. That is why we are saying the government was bankrupt; there is no country that operates without foreign exchange reserves," Chihana claimed.
He added that all the other problems such as shortage of drugs in hospitals and fuel were a result of a government that had all its coffers gone dry due to economic mismanagement.
"If we say Malawi was bankrupt we mean it. Now we must sit down as the youth to start rebuilding the country. If you want the country to develop all the time we need all of us to work together," Chihana said.
He further said the government will restart distributing the Youth Entrepreneurship Development Fund (Yedef) which it suspended as it had been politicised.
However, DPP spokesperson Nicholas Dausi denied Chihana's claim.
He instead asked Chihana to substantiate the claim other than speaking "on matters he is not aware of."
"The government official spokesperson on financial issues is the Minister of Finance not the Minister of Sports. Tell him [Chihana] he does not know what he is talking about. He is now a Minister and must learn to say some things that represent government," Dausi said.