Malawi Parley approves zero-aid budget: Chakwera says govt ‘listened to concerns’

Malawi Parliament on Friday passed K742 billion zero-aid  budget to enable government execute developmental projects and other statutory obligation expenditures for the the 2014/15.

Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development Goodall Gondwe moved a motion for Parliamentarians to support the approval of the financial plan where  a total of K7.4 billion has been added to the initial K62.2 billion which was described by different activists as too little to address the needs of the health sector in the country.

Most legislators and health rights activists asked Gondwe to increase the allocation to the Ministry of Health in the National Budget.

MCP president Lazarous Chakwera (r): Changes have come due to MPs critique

MCP president Lazarous Chakwera (r): Changes have come due to MPs critique

“An extra of K7.4 billion has been provided on the drug budget for a start, as we explore other avenues of bridging the gap further. Out of the sum, K2.5 billion will go to central hospitals, and another K2.5 billion to district hospitals,” Gondwe told Parliament.

While 1 billion has been allocated for anti-malaria drugs and Tuberculosis treatment; K966 million for the expanded Programme on Immunisation;  and K34 million to supplement the current allocation on family planning.

Gondwe has also allocated additional K500 million for diagnostic medical equipment, K150 for the training of cancer medical specialists who will be available to attend to patients immediately after completion of the construction.

“In order to manage the transition process for the development budget to move from the central ministries to the councils, government has decided to allocate an additional K5 billion to the General Resource Fund for the council’s development budget in the interim,” said Gondwe.

In the adjustments, the constituency development fund has been allocated an additional K3 million while an additional sum of K1 billion has been allocated to facilitate the process of upgrading the underlying software, and to finance preparatory expenditures leading towards the acquisition of new software.

“This brings the total allocation for Ifmis improvements to K1.5 billion,” said Gondwe.

Among others, the University of Malawi (Unima), the Ministry of Gender, the Police Service and the Financial Intelligence Unit have had their allocations adjusted upwards.

The Malawi Police Service will receive an additional K500 million for the procurement of motor vehicles so as to ease the mobility issues currently facing the service.

Leader of Government in the House, Francis Katsaila commended MPs for giving out “their best” during the debate.

MCP president Lazarus Chakwera, who is also the Leader of Opposition in the House,  said the opposition played its oversight role, saying the budget has been passed with changed after MPs gave a critique.

Chakwera hoped that the budget will  be well implemented serve the interest and meet the needs of Malawians .

“We at least happy that government listened to our concerns by revising some allocations to key sectors, mainlyhealth,” said Chakwera.

Juliana Lunguzi, Chairperson Parliamentary Committee for Health, hailed health rights activists and media, who she said, helped the cause by making and broadcasting the right “noises”.

“Our joint efforts have paid off. Who says lobbying doesn’t work? Evidenced-based lobbying, using facts, always works.The increase will go towards the drug budget (initially left to donors), family planning and diagnostic equipment,” said Lunguzi.

Most local economists however have described the budget as “prudent”, but have warned about fiscal discipline.

Malawi’s financial year begins 1 July, but because of the 20 May elections and the subsequent change of government, the new administration of President Peter Mutharika asked Parliament for a three-month extension.

Donors suspended US$150m in budgetary support in the wake of ‘cashgate’, the worst financial scandal in Malawi’s 50 years existence as an independent country, where businessmen and politicians connived with civil servants to skim billions of dollars from the government in payments for goods and services not rendered to government.

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24 thoughts on “Malawi Parley approves zero-aid budget: Chakwera says govt ‘listened to concerns’”

  1. Bonafide Malawian says:

    Congratulations for passing the budget without much-a-do. Now, were will all this money come from? I don’t think its somewhere just waiting to be used. Government is stifling the local businesses which are supposed to grow and generate taxes by not paying them. K72bn arrears is no joke…Yet they give mouth-watering contracts to foreigners who end up externalizing the funds. Am sure Malawi has many abled enterpreneurs who need govt support and protection. It is not easy in other countries for small-medium traders/enterpreneus to do business as is in Malawi. Only FDI in mining, manufacturing and agriculture are easier for foreigners to do. Osati FDI kumazagulitsa nsapato ndi zitenje.

  2. Weniweni Balakasa says:

    Gondwe ndi Pitala, mganiza anthu ogwira ntcito mboma adya mapwala anu? Mwatotani anaphwa inu osakwezera malipiro ndi more than 50% ? Sitonse alomwe titodya nawo zakuba za dpp. Mkapanda kukweza malipiro titomacha nawo azathu amadela onse. Tidzayambira kwa january, kunasadi, ku Luchenza, kumafisi, kufourcorner mwanamiwa mosemo mpaka ku khonjeni ndi kwa mitengo , osayiwala kwa mberenga, kumadzi kufikila thekelani sitili okondwa ndi malipiro athu.

  3. Nyani wa ku Mwananyani says:

    Wow! this DPP government is very accommodating to constructive criticism; I cannot recall another government listening so attentively. The opposition should thank APM and his government: other governments would have just ignored all the noise and moved forward to implement the budget.
    And some people still insist APM is dictator? They couldn’t be farther from the truth: evidence herein.

  4. SAMSON says:

    Why did Parliament reduce the allocation for the payment of arrears from K50bn to K30bn. I am afraid to say that this seriously reflects the the Parliamentarians lack of understanding of the nations developmental agenda. MPs have no idea how to develop the country and certainly there is no in-depth understanding of how to combat poverty in Malawi.This is a sad situation.

    When the government obtains services or goods from the business people the govt must pay back and in good time. Govt is owing over K72b to suppliers and the figure continues to grow. Malawian suppliers have no capital to sustain their business in the light of high interest rates and delayed payments puts the business on its death bed. Entrepreneurs who are suppose to contribute to the economic development and reduce unemployment are the very people that suffer most when govt denies them payment. They lose their homes to banks and end up seeking employment instead of offering employment. There so many small businesses that have died in this way. In a country where people practice extended families this action by the govt exacerbates poverty and leads to many people relying on govt services and subsidies. Such conditions repel prospective FDI’s.

    Govt should respect and encourage Malawians businesses because its a source of its own income through collection of taxes. A good budget should support the spirit of entrepreneurship and improve business environment otherwise its not worth the paper it is printed on. A strong base of the local businesses which unfortunately in Malawi is not the case will help to sustain the economy towards zero aid. Strong economies in the world are made up of small businesses operated by the nationals. Do not try to re-invent the wheel please.

    1. Tengupenya says:

      the arrears should be cleared now! however, as they say, the budget man always robs Peter to pay Paul. the reduction of the allocation for clearing arrears has met the increases in allocations to health and elsewhere.

  5. Lets vote for Malawi’s only representative in a global competition for young scientists and innovators, MIXON FALUWEKI, a boy who developed a bicycle phone charger, other contestants from other countries are being voted heavily and we need to support our innovative son. To vote go to https://review.wizehive.com/voting/aaaspublicvote/25831. Select 5 stars for the video and vote. Use either fb account or email address, remeber to verify through your email address if you use email for voting. VOTE DAILY UNTIL 1 OCTOBER, true malawians will not ignore this important message

  6. ife says:

    #3 mind your language, who are you to judge? This shows your stupidity.

  7. Quota system says:

    Minus the sum of 5 billion for the cancer centre. Its location will have to be discussed first. The primary beneficiaries will be Malawians. Not doctors. The latter reason is just a DPP scapegoat to initiate most development projects in the south, let alone Ndata. 500 million is too little for diagnostic equipment. X ray machine and other gadgets are not working in our hospitals. I don’t think the allocation will suffice. Drugs are also very costly and ever in short supply at the medical stores trust. All in all, let there be fiscal discipline as the budget will mostly milk poor tax payers. Again, take care to ensure that FISP does not subsidize traers instead of poor farmers.

    1. Aaron Mwala says:

      MOH should start charging individuals for drugs, only way we can improve availability of drugs

    2. Duncan Phiri says:

      Improvement of health services in Malawi will only improve all politicians are attended to in Malawi: That`s when the politicians will see the real need. But as it stands they care less because when they need medical help they simply fly out to RSA.

  8. Ma says:

    How can you approve a budget with mk7b useless ironsheet and cement subsidy? How? Pastor you have no idea about financial issues. .. its a shame full budget.

  9. Mwalandila Mabanzi says:

    Adding over K7b to Health Sector was not enough to pass the 2014/15 Zero Deficit Budget because there are a lot of unresloved important issues!

    It is very pathetic that Mps have passed the 2014/15 Zero Deficit Budget without resolving controversial issues such as the ones in the MEC, MEC Chair and MEC Commissioners are supposed to resign or be fired from their positions in the MEC because of lack of credibility to conduct Credible Elections and deliver Credible Election Results…

    We need the Office of Public Protector to protect Malawians from the evils of Malawi because even the MPs are failing us due to mabazi ndi masikono(bans and scones)

    MEC Chair and MEC Commissioners are wasting Tax-Payers Money because they are not worthy to serve in the MEC because of lack of Accountability and Transparency to deliver Credible Election Results…

    Electoral Laws of Malawi needs to be transformed to accommodate and promote real Democracy in Malawi…

    1. Tengupenya says:

      Budget should be considered in its own right. MEC and electoral laws are separate issues unconnected to the budget.

  10. Balekabayobeghe says:

    So no consideration has been given to the plea of the Auditor General for an increase in the allocation of his vote? Will the AG’s office manage to audit over 700 billion with only under 200million?Are we really serious as a nation?

  11. Nyasa says:

    Ndalama zimathera muma workshop abodza izi. Many ministries usually have ghost workshops especially in the ministry of health. The government should find a way of eliminating this wicked conduct by some employees. Believe you me I know what I am talking about.

    1. Tengupenya says:

      Workshops are sometimes initiatives for getting more perks. if the expenditure on them are within the budget plan, we cannot fault the beneficiaries.

  12. keshkesh says:

    Iwe chekambewa abusawo adanyenga iweyo?

  13. Nkasai says:

    Tks for increasing allocation for MOH .Our plea is to hospitals to avoid pilferage of drugs especially Mangochi hospital,u steal maningi!!! Most drugs end up in private hospitals and drug stores .

  14. Wananga says:

    Simunanene za malipiro a antchito za boma. Ngati palibe ndiye kuti budget siinaduse.

  15. Mzomera says:

    No money for federation referandum? KKKKKKKKKK

  16. Leonard nthala says:

    Ok budget fine mr gondwe. But what waries me for how long we will depend on donner aid. Where is the investment in country we got lake oil. Coal mine use 4 electricity so that ppo use electric than fire wood especially ppo of the north.

  17. chekambewa says:

    Abusa achinyengo supit

  18. culture of Impunity. says:

    Doubt mazi saiwala nkhwawa lake, water never forgets its way.

  19. simy says:

    lets hope that the k742b will be put to its proper use!

Comments are closed.