Malawi opposition parties have warned that they will take Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) led government to task in the forthcoming mid-year budget review of parliament which reconvenes next Monday.
Parliament meets to review the national budget that was passed in June last year.
But leader of opposition and Malawi Congress Party (MCP) president Lazarous Chakwera said the DPP government “needs to provide clear answers” on economic turmoil bedevilling the nation.
“We will take them to task on what truly happened financially and economically,” said Chakwera.
Chakwera said they will also critically look at the report on the ‘maizegate, the controversial procurement of maize from Zambia which the House has been probing.
He said there will be “tough debate” on matters of national interest.
Chakwera said they will demand answers from Minister of Finance Goodall Gondwe on how the budget is being implemented.
MCP said they will also raise the issue on continued electricity problems and the collapsing health system, saying government should ensure that the right to food and essential health services is guaranteed to Malawian citizens by making sure that maize is available in Agricultural Development and Marketing Corporation (Admarc) deports and that adequate drug supply is also available in all public hospitals.
On his party, acting leader of erstwhile ruling People’s Party (PP) Uladi Mussa said they will demand President Mutharika to appear in parliament to answer questions in person as leader.
Mussa said he is interested to grill the Head of State “on why his government is not showing interest to prosecute the K236 billion Cashgate case.”
The K236 billion Cashgate – grand corruption – affair took place during the reign of former president Bingu wa Mutharika, brother to the incumbent.
Mussa said he also wants to quiz the President on the increase of maize price top K12,500.
He said: “Poor Malawians are suffering. They are failing to buy maize because the price has been hiked.”
Mussa also said the President should tell the nation how his administration is dealing with the ailing economy that has led to the high cost of living pushing more Malawians in untold poverty and misery.
If Mutharika honours the request for opposition for questions time, this will be the first time in over 20 years when a head of state has answered questions in the House after Bakili Muluzi who faced a myriad of questions in mid 1990s from the then leader of opposition Gwanda Chakuamba when parliament was meeting in Zomba.
The Speaker of Parliament Richard Msowoya announced that the mid-year budget review will start from Monday February 6 to March 2.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :