Southern African Development Community (SADC ) Members of Parliament (MPs) were on Monday asked to be prudent in managing financial resources to achieve the objectives of Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) concept.
Malawi’s Vice President Khumbo Kachali made the remarks when he was opening a four-day 32nd SADC Parliamentary Forum (PF) Plenary Assembly at Sunbird Nkopola Lodge in Mangochi district, Malawi, with the theme “Enhancing the Role of Parliaments in Budget Oversight and Economic Governance in the SADC Countries.”
He said from the outset that the theme was timely and relevant as the SADC Region is going through milliards of challenges destructing the socio-economic development of the region hence eroding overall objective of deeper regional integration.
“It goes without saying that that as parliamentarians and all of us as leaders should not fall into the temptation of using the budget as a tool for self-enrichment.
“We should be found to be beyond reproach in this regard,” said the Vice President.”
Kachali said Parliamentarians hold the “power of the purse.”
He explained that as the Executive, they can draw up what they might consider as the best budget but “
“The use of the power of the purse should therefore be to realize our national development goals, the millennium Development Goals, the objectives of the new partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) and many others, “stressed Kachali.
The Vice President said the challenges SADC member states is undergoing include the fact that the majority of SADC countries appear to be under-developed, the average economic growth in the region is only about 5 percent with many countries falling way below this average, population growth is at a high rate of 2.7 percent per annum, SADC is regarded as the epicenter of the HIV/AIDS pandemic and new infections are reportedly on the increase.
Extreme poverty and hunger is serious challenge and many SADC member states may therefore not achieve the first Millennium goals, are donor dependent, burdened by huge debts and infrastructure development is still at low levels and remains a big challenge, among others.
On gender equality, vice present Kachali was pessimistic saying there is a lot of home work to be done, to ensure the house of assembly in SADC countries makes progress.
He thanked the President Mrs. Joyce Banda for creating enabling environment that the 32nd SADC Sessions be conducted in Malawi.
Kachali also thanked SADC member states for their help during the time Malawi had lost President Bingu wa Mutharika in April this year, who died of a cardiac arrest.
The session has delegates from South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mauritius, Lesotho, Botswana, Namibia, Mozambique and Swaziland.
Angola and Seychelles are not represented as they sent an apology.
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