Parliament on Thursday authorised government to use a revised budget for the second half of the financial year which has been increased by K100 billion from the approved K1.7 trillion to K1.8 trillion.
The Mid-Year Budget Review session of Parliament rises this Friday but the legislators ensured the increment was approved to ensure also votes for the fresh presidential election on May 19 2020 as ordered by the Constitution Court which on February 3 nullififed last year’s presidential poll.
Treasury has given Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) K34 billion for the fresh presidential elections.
Opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP) legislators asked that the funds allocated to electoral body should not be channelled to Chief Elections Officer account as it were in last year’s Tripartite Elections.
“That particular account is outside Ifimis —government’s electronic payment system— and that poses a risk,” said Ken Kandodo, MCP legislator for Kasungu Central, who is former Finance Minister.
“We will be allocating another K34 billion to MEC. These are the resources that should be channelled through the bank account that is outside Ifmis. We want this account to be reflected in the system,” Kandodo said.
Malawi Police Services has received a K23 billion increase to K76.9 billion.
But during the committee of supply which scrutinises proposed arrangements vote by vote, members of Parliament (MPs) who contributed took to task Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development Joseph Mwanamvekha to explain about the increase.
Mwanamvekha explained that in the vote. K13.8 billion is meant for procuring equipment and ration food stuffs at police while K12 billion is set to take care of personal emoluments in terms of salary adjustments for the cops.
Finance Minister said the increased allocation to police was necessitated by the experience police faced during the recent series of Human Rights Defenders Coalition – organised demonstrations which most times turned violent and exposed the need for more crowd control equipment by the law enforcers.
While Malawi Defence Force has also seen a jump from its initial allocation of K50 billion to K62 billion.
Parliament is scheduled to be adjourned this Friday.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :