Goodall confirms K4bn unbudgeted funds, puts a spin calling it a ‘legitimate experiment’

Finance, Economic Planning and Development Minister, Goodall Gondwe, on Thursday conceded that the controversial K4 billion allocated to parliamentary constituencies was not budgeted for but it is “a legitimate experiment” at new funding modalities for local councils.

Minister of Finance Gondwe : Elaborate on the suspicious funds

Gondwe  said truth be told that  the money was not budgeted for in 2017/18 budget but while reviewing the budget some projects were added.

“The matter together will all the projects  have been approved by Parliament,” Gondwe told reporters.

Budget and Finance Committee of Parliament chairperson Rhino Chiphiko described the transaction as suspicious.

Chiphiko said the Finance Minister’s earlier explanation that the funding is from grants does not hold either.

“I am very suspicious about the source of the funds that they have come from one vote or another. There is no proper statement on what this money will be used for and as I said in the response to the budget statement, government wants to use the money for financing political campaigns,” he said.

Ministries of Finance and Local Government  were at pains to state where such money came from as pressure mounted on the motive behind the allocation that parliamentarians later agreed should be spread to all 193 constituencies instead of just 86.

But Minister of Finance, Gondwe insisted the money was from taxes, grants and borrowing and was saved from the re-adjustments of the 2017/18 budget that saw cuts to the development budget.

He said the money was part of excess the government had.

“We could either throw it away, or we could use it. And we found in the Ministry that the K4 mbillion could be used very well in rural areas, in terms of roads, bridges etcetera. We gave that money to the Ministry of Loal Government, They accepted that and decided on how they were going to use it,” Gondwe said.

Addressing a news conference at the Parliament building in Lilongwe Thursday, Gondwe  defended the expenditure but failed to explain how the money will be disbursed once given to local councils.

Taken to task by probing journalists, Gondwe conceded that while he had agreed with Local Government ministry that the projects should be conceptualized by the local Area Development Committees (ADCs) he had no idea how constituencies were selected.

Gondwe went further to suggest that the funding, which is being done outside the normal funding procedures of local councils, was an experiment outside the current normal mechanisms following complaints of flaws.

“Our formula was to fund projects identified by the Area Development Committees. I think as a country we should look for other ways of funding local councils because you have complained that CDF, LDF or DDF are being abused, so we are looking for other ways, we may come to Parliament and say why can’t you make this universal,” said Gondwe.

Gondwe said:“The important thing is that the projects as well as the recurrent expenditure must be within the figure of the total receipts. Most of our projects will be funded by local resources. It will come from Malawi generated resources, from tatxes as well as resources from borrowing as well.”

Meanwhile, Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) has indicated that it was reviewing the matter.

“The bureau has recorded a statement on the matter based on media reports. The bureau will review the complaint to assess if there is merit to warrant its action,” the graft-busting body senior public relations officer Egrita Ndala has said.

Another opposition MCP lawmaker, Juliana Lunguzi, said MPs’ decision to accept the funding across 193 constituencies, will be to “legalise something which is illegal.”

Political scientist Ernest Thindwa from University of Malawi’s (Unima) Chancellor College said in an interview has said the the unplanned expenditure is “political corruption.”

He accused the House for accepting to distribute the money across the board as abusing  government resources to institutionalise corruption.

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Chidi Mbwengu
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Chidi Mbwengu

Some of us have said time and again that gondwe is an educated thief! This time he has been caught with his hands in the till. This action will not even bother peter his boss because it is a planned set up. Why dpp say they are going to win 2019 election is now visible. The by elections they lost are making them do things at the speed of light switch coz they are behind time. We appeal to those are close to gondwe to watch this swine closely otherwise they will leave coffers empty. I know everyone remembers how… Read more »

Igwe
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Igwe

Vitsiru va DPP mutha moyipa anthu akuba ndi kupha inu. Fwetseke

#DzukaniAmalawi
Guest
#DzukaniAmalawi

UnHonourable Gondwe is definitely trying to tell us something but still keep his job in the party. What is he is actually saying is that……he was instructed by the powers much bigger than himself to find K4 billion from the fiscus to distribute to selected MP’s to be disguised as funds for local development. In other words lets loot K4 billion to buy friendship from MP’s ahead of next year’s general elections. They even discussed the matter with ACB before hand, to investigate, if comes out in public. The final report has already been drafted to legitimise the looting. It… Read more »

Santana
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Santana

There is nothing wrong in what Goodall has done.

Kwacha
Guest
Kwacha

Malawians, we sit down and here this and we clap hands that DPP is developing this country. The problem is that a good number of us we are thieves and we don’t see anything wrong with what these people are doing with our monies. I feel sorry for Goodall, Moral decadence amanena Chilima ija ndiimeneyi

Martin
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Martin

But Malawi and its leaders or maybe its people inclusive; what kind of a road or a bridge that can be built out of MK20 million? Is this the development some MPs such as Navicha are talking about- which obviously is happening in their homes and pockets while the masses keeps suffering? How could a normal person borrow money -katapila for that matter, to pay a prostitute?

the moonlight
Guest

Azigogo a DPP kuba kopanda nako manyazi. Agogo mmalo molangiza ana kuti kuba nkoyipa, gogo ikuwaberaso ana, ndiye tithawira kuti…………………. I cry for beloved country!!! untrustworthy DPP leaders

Ndadabwa
Guest

I feel sorry for you Goodall. you joined a bunch of fools so you have become a fool also

chidanti
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chidanti

pa malawi kodi ndalamazo munakataya bwanji iwe Gondwi tell us how you could throw the money

nyasimmaso
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nyasimmaso

Funny fools how can we have excesses when we complain that the budget lines were not enough and has hampered developmental areas. And how come we have excess when we are only half way through the Budget.

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