Finance minister Goodall Gondwe lamented in parliament that discussions with donors to resume part of the aid ended up in tragic as a new set of tough conditions were slapped on the Malawi government.
These set of conditions, Gondwe told the silent House, were new and different from the International Monetary Fund strings that the government is tirelessly working on with the hope of aid resumption.
“They gave us lengthy conditionalities. Apart from the IMF conditionalities, they gave us a new set of conditionalities altogether and told us if met all of them by second quarter of the year, we would get the aid by third quarter of the year,” said Gondwe.
Gondwe said the government decided to go back to the donors to request money for crop seeds following government failure to pay to suppliers a K155 billion in arrears from last year’s FISP programme.
He said after the government’s failure to meet the conditionalities, President Peter Mutharika ordered the reorganisation of the national budget to include the seed budget.
The opposition Malawi Congress Party and People’s Party have urged the government to engage the donors to convince them open the aid taps as public sector services, especially in health and education, are increasingly collapsing prompting Lilongwe Rural South MP Peter Dimba to joke that if Malawi was a canteen, it could have closed shop.
On a lighter note, Dimba wondered why Mutharika’s cabinet ministers continue to be chased away from public places citing Jappie Mhango, minister of Information who was chased away from a funeral and Grace Chiumia, who was booed from a Gonapamuhanya function in Rumphi.
However Chiumia told the House that it was unfortunate that people were misinformed and when she tried to give correct information, people started “jumping up and down.”