Expert says Malawi govt must fund K8.7bn election budget deficit: Slams donors silence

A renowned Malawi governance commentator Makhumbo Munthali has warned that government has no excuse not to fund K8.7 billion election budget deficit, arguing that matters of elections must be a priority to any State.

Goverance expert Makhumbo Munthali: Let Treasury release the  funds

During a media briefing held on 13th June 2020 in Lilongwe the newly sworn-in Chairperson of the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) Dr  Chifundo Kachale said there was a deficit of K8.7 billion on the elections budgetfrom a total of K 38.8 billion budget amongst other key challenges- others being delayed disbursement of funds- so far registered by the Commission.

However, in a separate interview with Nyasa Times, Munthali said that government had no excuse not to fully fund the budget for the election arguing that just like Covid-19 fresh elections should be amongst the top priorities of government, and any attempt to frustrate the conducting of the elections under the guise of funds being allocated to Covid-19  could not be received well by the public.

“Already we have seen the Treasury releasing funds for trivial-political activities for President and Cabinet Ministers. To me it’s just a question of priorities. Elections touch on legitimacy issues and matters of legitimacy are key and priority in as far as a functioning democracy is concerned. Our Constitution clearly underscores this in Section 6 and 12. They are Constitutional matters. In that regard government has a primary responsibility to fund elections, and other development partners can only come in to complement government efforts”, argued Munthali

According to the Lilongwe based governance expert, there was need for the country to start looking at a long term strategy towards domestically financing elections in Malawi by enacting electoral reforms relating to the same.

“It’s high time government tabled that electoral reform Bill – as proposed by the Special Law Commission to electoral reforms in 2017- in Parliament to allow the establishment for a special elections fund that government would use to strictly save funds for future elections on annual basis. Elections in this regard would truly be viewed as a process rather than an event,” said Munthali

In response to the question of the various development partners silence on their intervention (both technical and financial) in the forthcoming elections,  Munthali said it was unfortunate that donors had decided to play the role of mere spectators despite the fact that these fresh elections were historical and required collective response by all stakeholders.

“Certainly, some donors may have deliberately decided to stay away from the fresh elections due to the public criticism they received on their perceived biasand skewed role in 2019 Tripartite elections.

“ However, their sudden pulling out of their support to this fresh elections may be in the short or long term be interpreted negatively with some holding that perhaps the donors are not happy that the electoral justice delivered at Court did not favour the incumbent. While the primary responsibility to finance elections rest with the government, the timing for donors to pull out is wrong and may simply give credence to some existing conspiracy theories that they have been against the quest for electoral justice.

“Otherwise, the fresh elections provide a good litmus test for donors if they indeed believe in the values of good governance and respect of rule of law and electoral justice,” said Munthali.

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Mpulula
Guest
Mpulula

What an ignorant governance expert. is he slamming donors for being quite? Can someone tell off his school fees benefactor for staying quite when School is about to open? This is stupid expert. By the way what qualifies this boy to be a an expert on governance? Does he have a Masters in Human Rights or Democratisation? Masters in Development? Masters in Public Administration? Or a PhD? You should have spoken to Dr Henry Chingaipe perhaps or Boniface Dulani. This boy is a stupid wannabe expert hence his 3rd rated opinons on donors The whole world is battling CORONA Virus… Read more »

ERUTU
Guest
ERUTU

Well said Mr Munthali 🇲🇼💪🏾

Cadet
Guest

Don’t blame donors for DPP’s theft. We are at their mercy, but they are free to fund it or not. They are not obligated. It’s like kubereka mwana and wait for others to take care of this baby. Misala chiyani? Malawi has to find its chisankho.

Analyst
Guest
Analyst

Koma a expert ake a Munthali aaa ooneka a njala omvetsa chisoni. Leave donors alone they have nothing to do with fresh elections.

Gugu
Guest
Gugu

The donors have their priorities. You can’t be budgeting stuff based on the next person’s pocket it’s absolute stupidity

A Comment
Guest
A Comment

Note that the government is saying that they will pay for soccer stadiums for 2 private enterprise organisations, which is not what government should be doing. This is like Chipiku asking for the government to pay for a new shop!

Government cannot then say that they don’t have money for elections! Why should donors pay anything if the govt acts in this manner?

Shonai
Guest

Opposition ya chibwana.Anthu ofunika kukukanirani aona chiyani?

Malawi belong to the citizens
Guest

Munthalika waba 8.7 billion yachisankho Kuti woyendetsa Chisankho avutike.How can you fund the election process K29 billion and fail to find K8.7billion?Mwaba ndalamayo ,anthu inu mudzamangidwa ndithu.we need leaders who will not depend on donors.Donors do not depend on you for their prosperity.No country prospers with donors money,mumangosaukapo.For more than 50yrs donors have helped malawians, Still malawians are very poor.Stop relaying on donors.munthu salemera ndi ndalama yopasidwa.

mchisala
Guest
mchisala

There are lots of things for which we should not be holding out a begging bowl to EU and others were it not for the high value the thieving Mbavas (DPP & UDF) have always placed on stealing from the state through ‘freebies’ and bogus contracts because we now know that EU and others do not place the same value as true patriots on ‘good governance. judicial accountability, electoral justice and, above all, respect of rule of law’. From what has transpired we needed to turn-down any offers of them ever assisting us with elections!!!

Zara
Guest
Zara

Chakwera and Chilima said we don’t need donors and called them names. So, here we are, MEC has a deficit.

ERUTU
Guest
ERUTU

Then why

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