Reserve Bank of Malawi has moved in swiftly to ask micro-finance institutions, and mobile operators to remove user-fee and other interests on loan transactions as a cushion amid the rising cases of Coronavirus in the country.
Among others, Malawi’s two mobile, Airtel Malawi plc and TNM plc, will have to completely remove user fees and charges on personal transfers on the same network, for a period of three months, in the face of Covid-19.
Announcing the development in the capital city of Lilongwe, Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) Governor Dalitso Kabambe also said effective Wednesday mid-night, the two mobile phone companies have also agreed with the central bank to reduce user fees and charges on person to person transfers across their respective networks from a minimum of K120 to K20.
The Reserve Bank Governor Dalitso Kabambe said this means that starting from Wednesday, 22 April, 2020, moving mobile money within the same network, say airtel to airtel, will attract no fees and charges.
“Further, all microfinance institutions and financial cooperatives have also immediately suspended interest and principal repayments for loans by borrowers including pay-roll borrowers on a case by case basis,” said Kabambe
During a press briefing in Lilongwe on Wednesday, 22 April 2020, the Ministry of health Principal Secretary Dr Dan Namarika have asked Malawians to comply with measures being put in place saying the coronavirus pandemic can affect nearly 16.5 million population with about 5000 death.
He said if measure being put in place can be followed, the projection of deaths can be reduced to 300,000.
“People should avoid staying in groups. We are aware some truck drivers are failing to comply to the measures.
“In Malawi we have recorded six more cases in the capital city of Lilongwe in which 2 of them came from Tanzania and India respectively while the four others have been affected within the same household by one who traveled to Tanzanian at Kaliyeka in Lilongwe. This means our cases are now 23,” said Namarika
Other reports say US embassy is set to repatriate its citizens living in Malawi by Friday this week.
The COVID-19 pandemic has affected nearly 2.5million people and killed people of not less than 80,000 in just five Months.