The Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development, Goodall Gondwe, has said government is still discussing with potential donors for the construction of Mombera University in Mzimba.
Gondwe said this after he was questioned on the K200 million allocations for the university in the budget.
First to raise the matter was Malawi Congress Party (MCP) MP for Mchinji North East, Alex Chitete.
“We have Mombela University and we are still discussing with people who are going to support us financially on this university. We have not yet concluded the discussions,” said Gondwe.
“As soon as we do so, we will come to the House for the authorisation to use those funds as well as to inform the House when we are going to start construction during this financial year. This is the information I can provide as far as Mombela University is concerned,” added Gondwe.
But Rumphi East MP Kamlepo Kalua (People’s Party-PP) asked Gondwe the rationale used in allocating funds to the universities.
Said Kalua: “Can the minister explain why Mombera University has been allocated K200 million whereas Mzuzu University [Mzuni] and the University of Malawi [Unima] are being given K250 million each.”
Gondwe responded: “As far as the Mombela University is concerned, the resources that we have here are those which we, ourselves, are going to use for infrastructure creation there. There is a question of water utilities that we are going to do, as well as electricity, wiring and a number of things of that sort.”
President Peter Mutharika on March 22 unveiled a plaque for the construction of stone for Mombera University in Mzimba District.
The President said the university will be constructed with funding from Malawi Government and not with any external assistance.
Mombera will be the second university after Malawi University of Science and Technology (MUST) to be constructed in the line of six universities that the former president late Bingu wa Mutharika lined up about four years ago.
The Mombera University in Mzimba is expected to have 10,000 people including staff and students. The university will largely harbor faculties of Animal and Veterinary Science.
Gondwe was also quizzed on the allocations made to some of the county’s public universities.
Lilongwe Msozi-South MP Vitus Dzoole-Mwale (Malawi Congress Party-MCP) also wondered why the vote for the Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (Luanar) was revised downwards.
“There are several big projects taking place at Luanar such as the new administration block, hostels and classrooms. These projects have stalled due to lack of funds and it is quite saddening to note that the university’s budget has been slashed. Students have been learning in tents for about four years and a good percentage of them do not have accommodation at the campus,” said Dzoole-Mwale.
In his response, Gondwe said: “As regards the reduction of resources at LUANAR this year, well, we are going a little bit slower on projects. It is not only LUANAR but a number of other projects for the reasons that we gave you already, that we will be going slower on this as long as funds are restricted. When is it going to finish? That I cannot tell.”Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :