Malawi Congress Party (MCP) director of strategic planning Ken Zikhale Ng’oma, who is also member of parliament for NkhataBay South, united the National Assembly on Monday when both sides of the House clapped hands to his contribution to the 2019/20 budget statement.
In his contribution to the fiscal plan presented by Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development Joseph Mwanamvekha, the MCP legislator Zikhale saif it was a “well-thought-through piece of document” which he said contains a number of activities that, if realised, would push Malawi forward.
Zikhale sounding constructive said there are however “unrealistic assumptions” that have been used in the formulation of the budget which are grossly undermining its realisation.
He wondered how the provisional budget which Mwanamvekha presented in June has performed in terms of revenue collection.
“W e are all aware that the provisional budget provided for monthly revenue collection of K100 billion, and its unfortunate that only K60 billion was collected representing 60% and normally the estimates are supposed to be based on the actual performance in this regard, provisional budget could have given us the direction on the framework of the actual budget”, he said.
He cited that the income from tobacco sales have literally dwindled, subsequently the country’s debt has drastically increased which suggests that Malawi will be paying huge amounts towards debt servicing, leaving little money for service delivery.
Zikhale also pointed out that almost every sector of the economy, ministries are demanding a rise in their funding submissions, but noted that the purse is reducing, yet the country’s population is skyrocketing, according to the Malawi housing census of 2018 population survey was approximately 18 million thereby increasing pressure on the little resources available.
He then wondered how departments will perform effectively and efficiently with insufficient resources or cut budget, yet their actual request if given, could have changed things for the better in their daily operations.
Zikhale also noted that the issue of climate change was not clearly included in the budget as he vividly lamented that climate change is trying to heat the nail on the head of our same ailing economy powers on top of unpredictable rainy season Malawi is experiencing, heat temperature on the rise everywhere, water table lowering, yet Malawi as nation has not found genuine solutions to curb climate change effects.
On employment, he said job opportunities are skewed toward already well-to-do cluster of people, leaving out the poor to become more and more poor and hopeless for they fail to visualise the future of their well being.
Said Zikhale:“As if this is not enough, new taxes are being imposed on the same poor society when transacting on mobile money platforms which, according to my perception, is squeezing the poor down hard.
“Malawi has been rated the fifth world’s poorest nation by the international community. What parameters is this budget focusing on so that the poorer should be targeted to find jobs?”
Zikhale faulted the budget not to be gender sensitive and urged the government to mainstream gender issues and come up with engendered budget.
He cited the performance of a girl child against the boy child in the education sector to be outstanding country wide, hence the need to start planning, budgeting towards mainstreaming gender issues to accommodate a girl child in leadership and managerial positions at all levels of government hierarchy, as a better way of empowering women.
In his concluding remarks, Zikhale urged the Minister of Finance Mwanamvekha not to forget inclusion of very important request from the people of Nkhatabay South Constituency to provide and connect clean piped water which they have been deprived of since 1958, connection should start from Kapesya through Chifira, Kande, Mwaya, Kachere,Tukombo, Kalowa to Mfundi.
He also requested that Kapesya bridge which is referred and known as a human death trap, should be upgraded from a single lane bridge to a double lane bridge to save human lives .Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :