Malawi Congress Party (MCP) parliamentarians on Tuesday took to task Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development Goodall Gondwe over the increased K112million allocation of funding to the Greenbelt Authority (GBA) which is not yet legally instituted.
Government announced GBA as a stand-alone public agency which will be the official agent for the construction of large scale irrigation infrastructural projects throughout the country.
Joseph Njobvuyalema, MCP’s MP for Lilongwe Mapuyu South said parliament continued to fund an agency that did not exist legally and whose activities are not clearly outlined.
“We were told that the bill would be brought into this House for an Act that will legitimise the existence of this Greenbelt Authority. Where is it?
“This House cannot continue approving funds for an entity that Parliament never approved. What legal provision are we using to fund this body? Do we have any Act for this (GBA),” queried Njobvuyalema.
Dowa West MP Kusamba Dzozi, who is also MCP spokesperson on finance, wondered why the GBA which did not have any activities was having salary increments for its personnel.
Another MCP MP Richard Chimwendo Banda noted that GBA “is almost non-existent in terms of activities. What have they done in the past six months for us to continue funding them?”
But Finance Minister Gondwe said development of the legislation to formalise the establishment of the authority was underway.
Gondwe said a bill would be tabled in Parliament soon.
Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs Samuel Tembenu argued that by virtue of its initial allocation being approved through the Appropriation Act, the expenditure was legal.
“It doesn’t require an Act of Parliament to give this trust money. We are using the Appropriation Act which we approved in this same House,” Tembenu pointed out.
He also confirmed a bill will be tabled to ensure GBA is premised in an Act of Parliament.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :