MESN calls on Malawi gov’t to revise ‘zero-deficit’ budget

The Malawi Electoral Support Network (MESN) has asked government to revise its budget after revelations that donor partners have withheld their budgetary support to ensure continuity of operations.

Donors under the Common Approach to Budgetary Support (Cabs) on Thursday said they are withholding their assistance estimated at $150 million (about K60 billion) to Malawi for the October to December 2013 quarter after being disappointed with revelations of financial malefaction at Capital Hill.

In a statement issued on Friday, MESN said it was concerned about the withdrawal of the budgetary support and asked the donors and government to ensure that funding towards the 2014 tripartite elections is not affected.

“MESN notes with great concern over this development as it will directly impact on the conduct of elections. Development partners provide funds for elections and it is our hope that the withholding of budget support does not include support towards the 2014 tripartite elections.

Duwa: Revise national budge

“Due to the withholding of budget support government will have to re do its budget. We, therefore, call upon government to prioritize funding to Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) to ensure smooth processes towards the elections,” reads the statement signed by MESN chairperson Steve Duwa.

Meanwhile,  Cabs chairperson Sarah Sanyahumbi assured that social programmes which are donor-funded through other means such as health, education and food security would not be affected by the delay in donor funds disbursements.

Cabs membership include Britain, the United States of America, the European Union, Germany, Flemish Government, Norway, Belgium and the African Development Bank (AfDB).

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