Malawi Parliament passes four votes amid great critique from opposition

Parliament on Friday passed four votes amid great critics from the opposition who demanded proper explanations in why other bills have been allocated more money and others less.

MPs in the House listening to the debate
MPs in the House listening to the debate

The votes which included the National Assembly, Office of President and Cabinet (OPC), National Local Government and the Ministry of Sports and Culture were all passed one after another but after a long time of debate and contributions.

The first to be passed was the National Assembly vote which previously was pegged at MK 8.3 billion and was being amended to MK 8.4 billion.

This amendment attracted critics from the members of the House saying the change is just too little bearing in mind that the house is responsible for a lot of things hence the need to allocate to it more funds.

The vote which also attracted greater critics was the OPC, which previously was pegged at MK 6.5 billion and was being amended to MK 9.7 billion.

Opposition members of the house could not hide their dissatisfaction with amendment saying it was ill-timed.

“Madame first Deputy Speaker Madame, I beg to move that vote 090 of the Office of the President and Cabinet be amended from MK 6.5 billion to MK 9.7 billion, proposed the Finance Minister Dr Goodall Gondwe.

This resulted to a lot of contributions from the opposition side some saying the allocated money was meant to be shared amongst the Ministers if the vote was to be passed.

“It is very sad Madame Deputy Speaker to note that this vote has received so much money. I have been reliably informed that the money will be shared amongst the Minister if the vote sees the light of the day.

“Some of these Ministers will get up to MK 20 million and other MK 15 million. It could have been good if the money was allocated to buy food as the country is facing food challenges rather than allocating it to OPC”, claimed Member of Parliament for Rumphi East, Kamlepo Kalua.

This did not go well with the government side who demanded the member to provide evidence to the allegations that he said.

According to Kalua, he did not have the evidence as he said he was just reliably told so, but, was willing to give the evidence when the Minister gets the said packages.

When asked to comment why the vote was amended like that, Minister of Finance, Goodall Gondwe said the money was a donation from Norway and UNDP and is to be used for the purposes of consolidating human rights and that OPC is just the overseer.

“If you are not aware honourable members of this House, the money is from donors who are demanding that the money be used for human rights consolidation. Thus, it will be dispersed to human rights organisations such as UNECO, NICE and other media houses who will submit their budgets so that they help in consolidating human rights,” said Gondwe.

The Minister’s explanation did not yield anything as more and more opposition members stood up saying these donors are wrong to dictate on us on how to use the money they give because right now what is crucial is food, medicine and not human rights.

After some time of debate Member for Lilongwe North east Maxwel Thyolera moved that the vote be reduced by MK1 billion.

Members voted one by one and the move was not honoured such that the vote was passed as proposed by government.

The other passed votes were that of National local government which previously was pegged at MK 46.4 billion and was reduced to MK 46.1 billion and the Ministry of Sports and Culture which previously was at MK 5.9 billion and was revised to MK 7 billion.

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8 years ago

Members voted one by one and the opposition failed. The author should have written so.

8 years ago

I wonder why donors are not paying direct to the human rights organisations. Is this becoming budgetary support from donors?

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