People’s Party (PP) leader in Parliament Uladi Mussa has said government is not only implementing a zero-aid financial plan but a “zero-development” budget.
Malawi’s major donors are withholding budget support for Malawi worth $150 million (over K60 billion) following the massive public funds abuse at Capital Hill popularly known as cashgate dating back from 2005.
In his party’s response to the State of the Nation Address, which President Peter Mutharika delivered on Tuesday, Mussa said it will be difficult to implement programmes and projects “ambitiously outlined” by the Head of State, taking into account government’s failure and inability to mobilise resources to fund the National Budget of 2014/2015.
“Mr Speaker, Sir, as far as PP is concerned, this is not only a zero aid budget, but also a zero development budget,” Mussa said.
He said all district assemblies their budgets are for consumption, “their budgets are for salaries, salaries; there is nothing for development.”
Mussa criticised government on terminating contracts in the roads and civil engineering.
“What is wrong with the already existing contracts? Why do you terminate programmes that were already secured by the government? What does this DPP-led government want from the new contractors they want to award these contracts? What do you want? Do you want to manipulate figures here and there? Is that your intention, to manipulate figures here and there? “
On land, Mussa said government should quickly review the land legislations “so as to protect our nation from being taken by foreigners as it is the case now.”
Mussa also asked government to fund grain trader Agricultural Development and Marketing Corporation (Admarc) with K4.8 billion to buy maize and legumes in preparation for the looming hunger.
“Mr Speaker, Sir, there are three things in life which you cannot hide. If one is dead, you cannot hide, if one is pregnant, you cannot hide and hunger too, you cannot hide. The truth of the matter will come out,” said Mussa, attracting applause from backbenchers.
Mussa said it was worrying that the President made no mention of recapitalising Admarc which he said was a more reliable market for maize for rural Malawians.
He said Admarc needed between K3.6 billion (US$8 372 093) and K4.8 billion (US$11 162 791) to buy this maize, but instead government has plans to provide K8 billion to National Food Reserve Agency (NFRA) to restock Strategic Grain Reserves (SGRs).
“We are leaving maize trading in the hands of unscrupulous traders who are ripping off Malawians,” Mussa said, adding resources to restocking SGRs should be increased to K15 billion.
Earlier, Leader of Opposition Lazarus Chakwera said money set aside to purchase maize “must benefit Malawians who have maize, instead of importing maize from outside.”Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :