Malawi Congress Party (MCP) member of parliament for Lilongwe North, Patricia Mkanda has accused the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) of acting in desperation and advancing a political budget as the House has since p approved a K5.4 billion (US$12 million) allocation to State Residences amid resistance on two activities of construction of two banquet halls.
Commenting on the financial plan tabled by Finance, Economic Planning and Development Minister Goodall Gondwe, the Lilongwe North MP said the budget without goals “is just a pair of handcuffs.”
Nkanda said going through the 2015/16 national budget “you can actually discern desperation and politics.”
She said: “A good budget does not do injustice to other districts or sectors. It is well researched and based on reality on the ground. I can see that this budget is politicised, that is why we are maintaining the Malata-Cement Subsidy.”
The MCP lawmaker said the 2015/16 budget is not offering Malawians any hope because of “drastic cuts” and that “Malawi is on a life-supporting machine.”
Nkanda challenged Minister of Education, Science and Technology. Dr Emmanuel Fabiano to visit her constituency where she said two girls were raped in one month because there are no girls’ hostels.
“I also invite him to visit Nambuma, Kalonga and Kabudula Community Day Secondary Schools. I am sure the Minister will close the schools after the visit because girls and boys are living in rented houses, which have no window panes. There is no electricity, the rooms are infested with ants and some girls are living in thatched houses. Mr Speaker, Sir, if most of us went to such schools, I am sure we would not have been in this House,” said Nkanda.
Government Deputy Chief Whip Grace Chiumia stood on a point of order against remarks by Nkanda that the budget is politicised.
“ If you look in the budget books, you will see that funds have been allocated to all the districts, including the CDF (Constituency Development Fund) increment we are asking for, is for every Member of Parliament.,” she said.
Chiumia also said it “wrong” to say that girls who are sleeping in thatched houses will not be able to be MPs, saying others who used to walk to school are now in the National Assembly.
“Mr Speaker, Sir, we need to find ways on how to improve their accommodation. The Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development has shared with us information that he used to walk from Rumphi to Livingstonia to go to school, but today he is here. ,” said Chiumia.
Speaker of Parliament, Richard Msowoya , advised Chiumia that “ we do not debate opinions in the Chamber. That is the Member’s opinion and that is how she feels. If you disagree you can also rise up and talk about.”
Meanwhile, Mzimba South-west MP Khumbo Kachali asked Gondwe to consider reallocating the K500 million of State Residence allocation towards construction of banquet halls at Sanjika Palace in Blantyre and Kamuzu Palace in Lilongwe.
“Why is the construction of banquet halls so important at this time when so many budget allocations have been drastically reduced?” wondered Kachali.
Kachali, immediate past vice-president during former president Joyce Banda’s two-year tenure, received support from Rumphi East MP Kamlepo Kalua (People’s Party-PP) who repeatedly described the allocation as meant for “malo a chisangalaro… [kumangodya amapwevupwevu].”Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :