Jooma trashes ‘irrational’ K7bn Malawi housing subsidy

Former economic planning minister Ralph Jooma has described the K7 billion budget allocation to the subsidized cement and iron sheets  programme  by the  ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP)as irrational, saying the  figure is astronomical and misplaced priority.

The Mangochi-Monkebay parliamentarian remarks follows what   leader of opposition in Parliament Lazarus Chakwera said that government should have instead provided private sector incentives for production of cement and iron sheets.

In his contribution to the 2014/2015 budget in parliament Tuesday said government should consider subsidizing other national services such as health, education and water.

Jooma: K7 billion will benefit the well to do

Jooma: K7 billion will benefit the well to do

“We have had subsidies in this country but if there is one subsidy that is more irrational, it is this one: the one that will be used to buy iron sheets and cement,” said Jooma.

“When the nation is subsiding water, millions of Malawians benefit. When the nation is subsidizing health, agriculture, and education; millions of Malawian citizens benefit. Even at the time when this nation was subsidizing electricity and fuel, millions of Malawians were benefiting,” said Jooma.

He noted that K7 billion will be used on 11,000 families the whole country: “I have done my calculations. In five years how many families? So many Malawians will suffer!”

Jooma further said that the poor families “are simply waiting to get the coupons and sell to the well-to-dos who can be able to match that allocation and buy the iron sheets and cement. This is not going to work.”

In the house, the matter has received criticism including Lilongwe East MP Ezekiel Ching’oma who said the impact of the subsidy would be negligible considering that only 100 people would be targeted in each of the 193 constituencies.

He said when DPP was campaigning; they never said the subsidy would be targeted, but changed tune after winning the vote.

Said Ching’oma: “It means that for each constituency, there will be 500 beneficiaries by the end of the five years. It has to be noted that 80 percent of Malawians live in poor housing, in this way the impact of this programme, after five years, will surely be close to negligible.”

Rumphi West MP Jacqueline Kouwenhoven said the new subsidy would just create a new dependency on the part of Malawians.

She said: “When we start building houses for people, next they will look to government for other areas. That K7 billion could have gone into health care or education and people would be better helped through this.”

Dowa East MP Richard Banda said the new subsidy “should have been pended until our economy was manageable.”

Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Goodall Gondwe is expected to respond to observations on the budget before Parliament rises.

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35 thoughts on “Jooma trashes ‘irrational’ K7bn Malawi housing subsidy”

  1. Paul J.C.Mwafulirwa. says:

    If indeed our MPs are people’s representives, they must accept the fact that this type of subsidy( cement and Iron sheets) has to go back to the drawing board and better still be burried for a while. Campaigning and Governing are two different things. The realities on the ground don’t favour the implementation of this unrealistic campaign promise as the would be beneficieries cannot afford the cost of a bundle(ntolo) of grass. This is a big test to a listening government!

  2. Ngoni WeniWeni says:

    7billion for 11000 people….
    4,7billion for nearly 200 people…
    If the MPs present the interest of Malawians which one between the two were they supposed to say NO??
    (The Rich *MPs* exploits the poor always)


  4. Kanyama Chima says:

    How does this compare with amai’s’a house’ for on old person in a village/contituency?

  5. Chisaù says:

    The main problem is that the majority is illiterate only used during campaign. The educated are uncivilised aligned to tribes. The whole country is too Stupid lead by Too Greedy leaders blessed by a clergy that prays 4 money. Shame on this Stupid Nation!

  6. Chimwemwe Singano says:

    It can be a good contribution but whenever you look at the one contributing it doesn’t make any sense. Most of these are fortune seekers. Today that party tomorrow another party.

    1. Optic Computer says:

      Chimwemwe, I think you are too prejudiced. Malawi cannot develop with your mentality. In arguments, you consider presentation of facts, not personality.

  7. chiperoni2 says:

    This is just political gain for DPP members. This is what happens in a country that has no national development plan. Each party ends up bringing in things that would help its members at the expense of the whole country. It is not parties that Malawi lacks but people who have the interest of the nation above their own interests and understand what democracy is all about.

  8. Bigdwag says:

    The idea of subsidies makes political sense and economically, nope!!!

  9. ACHEWA says:

    Please withdraw that stupid subsidy, why not subsidizing secondary education?

  10. Don Chigwe says:

    Why does Gondwe not think properly now? He knows that it is foolish to subsidise building materials when the budget is tight. If anything, why not subsidise water in traditional housing areas of cities to ensure everyone has clean water. Yes, the DPP is a party led by street sweepers.

  11. Atate with Kamphongo wa kwa Masikini says:

    The government should subsidize energy. (Fuel, Electiricity) this will translate into more production and low prices of commodities ending in people saving more money to buy construction materials.

  12. John says:

    Its not like all your complaints and cries will change anything anyway, so why bother. These guys are sooooo arrogant and think they know it all. They will never go back to the drawing table just to satisfy the arguments of opposition parties, no matter how sensible the arguments are.

  13. Maframes says:

    What DPP promised is gazetted and has to be achieved for them to win voters confidence. Every party had its own Manifesto of which it would have wanted to accomplish had it been given mandate to govern hence I see nothing wrong with Cement & Iron Sheets subsidy since this is what the party promised in its manifesto before elections.

    However it is not surprising to see Opposition Parties trashing this since they are not in government and they have thereown selfish reasons and explainations to give just to frustrate the Government of the day and this is typical of African politics where opposition parties do not give constractive views rather they do whatever it takes to bring down or frustrate the ruling parties and Malawi is not exempted.

    My advice is let us stop politicising everything for the sake of building our beloved nation, remember Malawi remains at the bottom of development in this World due to these selfish motives which mostly drains our resources.

    God bless Malawi!!!!

    1. chiperoni2 says:

      Brother something is indeed wrong. DPP did not promise targeted subsidy. This targeted subsidy is for the benefit of DPP loyalists and not the Malawi nation.

    2. MMALAWI says:

      That something is in a manifesto does not make it mandatory to fulfill it. Any wise person changes course depending on prevailing circumstances. Considering the current economic climate any sensible govt would scrape off unnecessary subsidies such as the one in question, not so?

  14. abdul says:

    pure wastage,politics of ignorance.that money should go to health.can you imagine how people are dying in our hospitals.Peter mulakho is a phyco,dunderhead osamva.ask Martha Kwataine how poor our hospitals are.i can bet,monthly funding in hospitals as of today hasnt allocated yet someone with a BIG head wants to subsidise cement.whats the ratio of beneficiaries to non?TOO MUCH UMBULI.

  15. Makito says:

    Wait a minute guys. Approve this 7 billion. DPP wants to use Parliament as an excuse for not implementing its stupid subsidy policy. Let them implement this targeted subsidy on iron sheets and cement and will fall out in 2019 as JB did if only a handful have access to it. Do not help them by rejecting it.

  16. Sam says:

    This is crazy!!

  17. Yapamphi says:

    A former Economic Development, Musathe mau pa nthawi yanu munapangapo chani ndi Amayi anu aja? even anthu adera lanu munawachitilapo chani?. Asiyeni a DPP ndi nthawi yawo, amenewo ndi ma plan awo 2014/15 budget.

  18. Nobel says:

    This subsidy is very political but completely a white elephant. Imagine spending K7b for only 11,000 people? This is madness at its peak. The mere fact that DPP changed tune on this means that they were not serious when they promised about subsidising cement & iron sheets. If they care about the plight of Malawians why dont they allocate these resources in health or education? Is this is a ploy to finance the DPP functioneries; the Mullis as they did thru the Mwanamveka’s Malawi Savings Bank?

  19. Chilombo says:

    A Jooma amafanana ndi Drake,kungoti iwowa ndi aakulu komanso onenepa.Thats my comment.

  20. Mbolo Sidwala says:

    Tikulowera kuti ndi boma ili?

  21. pearson sadala says:

    Word up Ralph. These guys lied to us. Why creating dependency syndrome instead of creating activities that will create wealth to generate income,to buy the cement and iron sheets

  22. mtondo says:

    Development is synonmous to improvement in living conditions as pretending otherwise is to complicate the notion.500 households in a consitutiency have access to be a better and decent shelter and YOU see no improvement there? iweyo JOOMA and all friends there making noise have decent houses in the surburbs of our cities,You hav access to loan but these rural poor have no shelter worthy mentioning of and You are with a shut big nose trashing the only opportynity a rural poor and marginalised urban squatter dweller can relish? mbuzi zenizeni ,now I think we shud go for direct democrancy coz anthu ena amatipanga represent ku parliament they lack substance.

  23. Chikopa says:

    If 11000 people will have good houses is it wrong may be you want to put in your pocket like you did with 13bn

  24. The Truthful One from the West says:

    I agree with MPs. This is a useless programme. It is a political gimmick by DPP for it to be seen as if it cares for the poor. The truth is that not much will improve in the lives of the poor over the next 5years. Even the DPP’s skills development programme which aims to vastly increase Malawians with skills has not been well thought out. Where are the jobs whether self-employed or not to absorb all these additional Malawians? A quck survey would confirm that there are currently thousands of Malawians with various skills who cannot find jobs or start a business because of very weak demand for their services. A business has to have a sufficient number of customers for it to survive.

    1. Gwamula says:

      Are you fucking kidding me???? You call this a political gimmick and agree with the MPs??? They just gave themselves 4.6 Billion. Less than 200 people??? And then here is the kicker, the 2.3 Billion will have to come from us???
      But hey, we cant compare the 11, 000 households with these dickheads right??? The truthful one, are you for real??? Or is it because you are just blinded by hatrade???
      So your Math does tell you that 7 billion over 11, 000 families is worse than 4.6 Billion on less than 200 individuals ha ha ha!!! And we wonder why Malawi cant develop, when we think like Chickens

  25. mbofyo says:

    100 houses per constituency is 100 families per constituency! On average a family has 5 members. That is 500 people per year per constituency! In five years time, that’s 2500 people per constituency! That’s 500,000 people in five years! And we call this trivial? In five years, government would have helped to move 500,000 people of the poorest of the poor to get out of poverty in terms of housing! Bravo DPP! Asafuna asiye!

  26. Reformed Al-Qaeda says:

    Subsidies, subsidies, subsidies, and more subsidies. What a govt! A govt that HEAVILY taxes a SMALL, EMERGING, AND STRUGGLING middle class (the engine)of growth) and heavily subsidised a huge, dormant, rural sector with a high population growth. A rural sector that pays little tax but expects free educatio, free health, free houses, free cows, free cement, free iron sheets, free clothes, and very soon free VIAGRA (subsidised sex). This is organised madness. Malawi is now turning into a welfare state, a national charity NGO, a kind of a church, where APM is the Archibishop and chilima is the Bishop of Malawi Diocece.

  27. Alungwana says:

    Priority upset! The incompetent DPP.

  28. Face reality says:

    why should we always depend on subsidy 50 years after independence only to be dependent

  29. Mphongo Zidana says:

    Bwana Saulosi and your brother Peter , it is not a crime to revisit your promises made during the campaign in the runner up to the elections. Because with this so called subsidy on malata and simenti ndiye mwagufa.

  30. Kadakwiza says:

    Malawians need serious policies not iron sheets and cement. Iam expecting policies to create jobs, if many Malawians will get jobs then they will manage to build their own houses.

  31. nkhedu says:

    in the next year’s budget tizamva kuti subsidy ya second hand clothes.eetu kaya

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