A lot was said when the then Dowa west parliamentarian, Alexander Kusamba Zonzi, moved a motion in the august house for the banks and landing institutions to lower their interest rates which he observed to the the highest in the world.
Zonzi who is professionally versed in economics further disclosed that banks in Malawi are also thieving from Malawians through deducting monthly service fees from their accounts.
In pursuit of his idea which, apparently, had a resounding reception from the poor Malawians, Zonzi met a lot of resistance from bank managers and lending institutions who threatened that should the idea succeed, banks would close down.
Reports were rife in the media that some banks went as far as offering 250 million kwacha bribe to Zonzi who outrightly, according to him, turned down the offer.
It was further reported in the local media that some banks, after failing to bribe Zonzi, went ahead to coax other parliamentarians to orchestrate the bolting of the motion. They succeeded because most of the legislators vetoed to the motion.
But, in an interview, Zonzi said he would still pursue the issue until banks slash down their punitive interests they charge when Malawians borrow from them.
Unfortunately, Zonzi was kicked out of his legislative helm for Dowa west and apparently, the pursuit of the idea died unhatched.
Nonetheless, with the razzmatazz on #datamustfall campaign, other sections of the society have been reminded of the #intetestratesmustfall drive.
In forums of business people, the issue is burning like coal as members are contemplating on engaging the relevant stakeholders to help them pursue the issue.
“The interest is very high. Imagine, paying about 40%? This is very suicidal to our businesses,” said Ackim Chirwa, who trades in Consumer goods.
“What happens normally,” added Ellen Mtambo. “With such interest rates our businesses collapse before we are even done repaying the loan.”