Civil society organisation (CSO) leaders are calling on members of parliament meeting in Lilongwe for for a midyear budget review to have robust debate and scrutiny to the details of budget expenditure rather than political bickering.
Speaking on Tikambirane programme on MBC, Executive Director of Malawi Watch Billy Banda urged MPs to focus on development work rather than getting embroiled in the maizegate saga.
“Parliament should be a place of robust and substantive debate for the common good of our country,” Banda said.
Similarly, Chairperson for Civil Society Platform for Constructive Dialogue, Oliver Nakoma appealed to parliamentarians to wait for the official reports of the Commission of Inquiry on maizegate and the Parliamentary Committee on Agriculture which visited Zambia last week to gather information and release their reports.
The Anti-Corruption Bureau is also investigating the matter but it appears that political parties are seeking to score points before the Commission issues its findings on 9th February.
Nakoma said the nation expect MPs to have intense scrutiny on a budget.
She said it was “essential” that parliament had “sufficient time to scrutinise the budget” the way government has spend midway.
Some of the issues they expect to be raised in the House are the controversial purchase of maize from Zambia and slow progress on the K236 billion Cashgate suspected to have occurred in the previous Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) government.
Health rights activists expect that government will raise the health sector budget so that drugs become available to the country’s health facilities, particularly this time when some hospitals have already exhausted their drug budgets.