Malawi Human Rights Commission MHRC says government should provide a clear strategy on how it intends to address the problem of high cost of living

The commission observes that for the past few months there has been a sharp rise in prices of fuel and basic commodities such as cooking oil at 75 percent, water 52 percent, shortage of drugs in public hospitals and a slow pace in the recruitment teachers in public schools among others

Chairperson of MHRC Scader Louis says all these developments have had a negative effect on people’s enjoyment of economic, social and cultural rights including vulnerable poor, rural women and persons with disabilities

Louis cited the constitution of Malawi which provides that the state has the responsibility to respect the right to development and to justify its policies in accordance with the responsibility

“While the commission welcomes the progressive broadening of the tax base by government in order to ensure that it generates adequate revenue to finance various public services, such measures should also take into account the existing worsening socio-economic conditions of the majority of Malawians who are struggling to cope with high cost of living,” explains Louis

He said there is need for government to strike a good balance between broadening tax base and creating a conducive socio-economic environment for all where reduction of poverty and wealth creation is not just a rhetoric but its evidenced by realistic action

The commission commended government for acknowledging that Malawi is in an economic crisis largely due to covid-19 pandemic and global factors beyond its control