1 Introduction |
1. Malawi is one of the poorest countries in the
world, with 74% of the population living on less than $1.25 per
day. Rates of maternal,
infant and child mortality are amongst the highest in the world,
whilst 12% of the working-age population suffers from HIV.
The Department for International Development (DFID) is one of
Malawi's largest donors, having provided approximately £70
million in bilateral support during 2010-11.
2. Most significantly of all, Malawi is a country
which has seen dramatic changes over recent months. When we announced
an inquiry into the situation in Malawi, one of our main reasons
for doing so was that DFID had recently suspended general budget
support (the provision of funds directly to the Exchequer), and
the UK High Commissioner had been expelled from Malawi. Given
these circumstances, we were concerned about DFID's capacity to
deliver its programme. The suspension of general budget support
was a response to the performance of the Malawian Government:
the then President, Bingu wa Mutharika, had become increasingly
autocratic, whilst also presiding over an economic crisis. His
relationship with his Vice-President, Joyce Banda, had deteriorated
significantly: whilst constitutionally unable to remove her from
her post, he had expelled her from his Democratic Progressive
Party (DPP). Whilst the inquiry was in progress, however, President
Mutharika died and was replaced by Banda. President Banda has
swiftly reversed many of her predecessor's policies, and Malawi's
relationship with its main donorsincluding the UKhas
3. This Report seeks to achieve two objectives. The
first is to look back over the Mutharika era, and to assess how
well DFID coped with an undoubtedly challenging situation. Any
lessons which DFID is able to learn from Mutharika-era Malawi
will be of great value for the future. The second objective, by
contrast, is to look forward, and to consider how DFID can best
respond to the newly changed circumstances in Malawi.
4. We issued our initial call for written evidence
in December 2011, and called for further evidence in April 2012
in view of the changed circumstances. We received 37 submissions
of evidence in total, from a wide range of organisationsboth
UK-based and Malawi-based. We also held an oral evidence session,
with witnesses from DFID, CDC and World Vision. The Committee
visited Malawi in March 2012, visiting a variety of DFID projects
and holding meetings with the late President Mutharika (shortly
before his death) and with the then Vice-President Banda.
|2004||Bingu wa Mutharika elected as President of Malawi.
|2009||President Mutharika secures a second term.
His Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) secures a Parliamentary majority for the first time.
|December 2010||Vice-President Joyce Banda expelled from DPP (but remains Vice-President) after refusing to endorse the President's brother for the Presidency in 2014.
|February 2011||Public Policy lecturer Blessings Chinsinga accused of trying to incite revolution.
|April 2011||British High Commissioner expelled from Malawi for criticising President Mutharika's autocractic ways.
Malawian High Commissioner expelled from UK in response.
|July 2011||DFID and other donors suspend general budget support to Malawi.|
NGOs hold demonstrations across Malawi to protest against the Mutharika regime. Twenty protestors shot dead by police.
|5 April 2012||President Mutharika dies of a heart attack.
|7 April 2012||Joyce Banda sworn in as President.
|April - May 2012||President Banda announces new Cabinet, and replaces Inspector-General of Police, Head of State Media, and Reserve Bank Governor.
|7 May 2012||President Banda announces currency devaluation.
|18 May 2012||New Parliamentary session opens; majority of MPs willing to support Banda Government.
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