Opposition lawmakers have threatened to shoot down the National Budget unless government give them the General Purpose Fund (GPF) loans of K5 million each which they are supposed to repay between now and 2019.
If all the 193 MPs get the GPF the total bill comes to K1.4 billion at the 40 percent rate the banks are charging.
Opposition MPs, led by Peoples Party lawmaker Wakuda Kamanga, on Monday pushed for an explanation on government’s decision to suffocate the MP’s access to GPF.
“Let government say it whether our conditions of services have been suspended or abolished,” said Kasungu North West member MP Kamanga rising on Standing order 74 – matter of personal explanation.
He said: “We must have a free mind before we tackle the budget or government will be sorry.”
Kamanga demanded “a pronouncement” to be made by Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Goodall Gondwe.
He demanded immediate fulfilment of their conditions of service, saying MPs can only debate the budget when they are “sober and celebrating”.
Speaker Richard Msowoya gagged members from debating the issue, citing Standing Order number 73.
Malawi Congress Party lawmaker Peter Dimba brandished a pay slip: “I receive K600, 000 basic pay and after deductions I receive a net salary of K254, 000.
“Now after the stories came out that we receive K1.4 million our spouses are saying we are under-declaring our income at home.”
Lawmakers warned that if there is no solution to the issue of GPF, the Speaker and government will find it tough when passing the budget.
Treasury Secretary Ronald Mangani has since written the Speaker informing him that Malawi government has over K2 billion arrears with the commercial banks for Members of Parliament personal vehicle loans and cannot extend more loans to MPs.