Jooma attacks ‘globe trotter’ Chaponda: Bashes Malawi budget (UPDATED)
People’s Party (PP) spokesperson on finance Ralph Jooma has accused the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP0 government of selective implementation of the austerity measures, saying the strongman Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation George Chaponda is busy globetrotting despite the travel ban.
Jooma was speaking in Parliament on Monday in his response to the Mid-Term Budget Review Statement.
Said Jooma of Chaponda: “He travels on his own. He travels where His Excellency the President is going and he also travels where His Excellency the President has decided not to go. He travels and travels and travels to the extent that he risks being declared a non-resident of Malawi.”
However, Chaponda who is regarded as a preferred successor to President Peter Mutharika, queried Jooma citing Standing Order 100 -as a matter of error – instead of Standing Order 99 that prohibit the reflection on the President, Cabinet ministers, judges and others during debate.
Chaponda explained that international travels that officials from his ministry undertake are of great importance especially in fulfilling Malawi’s commitments towards the international community.
“The honorable member made those remarks without knowing the roles of the minister of foreign affairs. What we have to understand is that Malawi is party to the Southern African Development Community (SADC), the United Nations and several other international organizations and Malawi needs to be taking part in the various meetings that may be taking place.
“Unlike in the past era of the Peoples Party led government, things are very different now. Even the State President has only travelled quite a few times out of this country. But in cases where the president has not travelled, there is always still a need for Malawi to be represented in these meetings.”
Speaker Richard Msowoya ruled Jooma’s remarks out of order and that be struck off the Hansard.
In his budget response, Jooma, a former minister of Economic Planning and Development during the Joyce Banda administration, also said government should not cut budget on maize.
He bemoaned the downward revision of the budget allocated to buy maize from K15 billion to K8.5 billion at a time when the country will have inadequate maize to take Malawians to the next harvest.
“If government think they have enough maize to take us to the next harvest season, some of us do not think so because we cannot see the maize,” said Jooma.
He noted that the first half funding was less than K3.5 billion, saying “doesn’t this explain why the majority in this country are going to bed without food.”
Jooma said Finance Minister Goodall Gondwe should be worried that domestic revenues have under performed by K12 billion and import duty by K3 billion.
“This is a strange outturn considering that devaluation pushes import tax revenues upwards. But if it is a sign that importation itself has dwindled then we should expect even much less taxes on income next year,” he said.
He said every financial plan “must take us closer to where we want to be.”
Jooma said it is counterproductive and back peddling to begin reducing already approved budget.
In October last year, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) asked Malawi to revise its budget downwards to reflect economic realities on the ground.
But Jooma described Gondwe’s proposed revision of the budget from K929 billion to K906 billion as a wrong reflection in real value in the wake of the rate at which the kwacha has depreciated against the dollar since the national budget was passed in July 2015.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :
Jooma should have pointed that Mwanavenkha also wastes a lot of forex globetrotting, ostensibly to drum up FDI. Of the two, Mwavenkha actually globetrotts more than Chaponda. Mwanavenkha keeps a very low profile in order not to draw attention to himself. These two ministers together with APM make up the ruling DPP triumvirate. This triumvirate does not know the meaning of austerity – no matter how bad the economy becomes they will maintain their obscene convoys (in the case of APM) and frequent flier status (in the case of the other two). They are like a swarm of locusts, eating… Read more »
Does it take you all that long to realize that there is simply no enough money hence the slashing of the budget?
Where is your shadow increased budget that you could can show us detailing the sources of funds that would justify?
You don’t have and if you have nothing to say, just drink the water on your table there in parliament.
O………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….O People who are inconsistent are not honest in their criticism hence not trustworthy. . . When Joyce Banda was president and you Jooma her minister, you didnt dare advise her on the need to slow down as she kept globe-trotting like nobody’s business. She could even be heard arrogantly boasting in her high-pitched voice “ine sindisiya kuyendaaaaa” It smacks of wisdom, intelligence and integrity to do one’s conscience sometimes than just one’s duty. Thats why generations shall live to rememember, envy and admire Moses Kunkuyu’s courage. You see, when the real Mutharika (Bingu) had hand-picked the scanned or photocopied… Read more »
So this MP Jooma of the deposed PP doesn’t know what standing orders say. He must be a dunderhead
The minister has admitted that he is globetrotting. Know that two wrongs will not make anything right.
There MPs they r absent most times but they do receive full allowance thats parliamentgate