Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) MP for Zomba Chisi, Mark Botomani, has trashed Leader of Opposition in Parliament Lazarus Chakwera for describing the resumption of budget support by the World Bank as an act of mercy.
Botomani who moved a motion to commence debate on the State of the Nation Address (Sona) delivered by President Mutharika at the opening of the Sixth Meeting in the 46th Session of Parliament and the 2017/18 Budget Meeting in Lilongwe, said the remarks by Chakwera were wrong.
Chakwera had said World Bank’s $80 billion (about K60 billion) general budget support was in no way a vote of confidence for the DPP-led government, saying there is still a lot of loopholes in government and Cashgate is still taking place on President Mutharika’s watch.
The Malawi Congress Party (MCP) president cited former Agriculture Minister George Chaponda’s alleged involvement in the importation of maize from Zambia as an example that corruption is still rife in government.
But Botomani told parliament that Chakwera’s views only shows “a lack of proper understanding of the credible and robust processes that inform the policy laden decisions of an institution of the stature of the World Bank. “
He said the issue, however, it is not so much about the release of the budget support, rather the confidence that the World Bank and other co-operating partners are having in the government of President Peter Mutharika.
Botomani also accused pessimists on the President’s economic growth projection of Malawi.
“But Mr Speaker, Sir, one does not need to be an economist to understand that when inflation is going down (at 15.8 per cent as at the end of March, 2017) it is an indication of an economy that is on the rebound,” said Botoman.
“As a matter of fact, Mr Speaker, Sir, we have seen commercial banks responding to these by reducing lending rates which is a very positive thing to every Malawian. And these are indeed signs of the economy that is on the road to full recovery,” he added.
Botomani said even cooperating partners are acknowledging the economic gains, citing press reports that donors are encouraged with government’s strides it is taking to improve the economic status of the country.
He said the British Government and European Union delegation have said that the economy is showing signs of progress and hope for the better.
“ They cite some important reforms steps government has taken which will bring positive developments in the long and short term. Any objective person, Mr Speaker, Sir, should acknowledge the good developments happening under the leadership of His Excellency Arthur Peter Mutharika,” said Botomani.
He told Parliament thatMalawi, under the leadership of Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika is a country on the move.
He cited investments in water supply and road network as some of the areas which show that “Malawi is heading in the right direction.”
Botomani applauded government for the successful implementation of food distribution to needy households affected by hunger.
He also noted that the Jobs for Youths Project funded by the African Development Bank (ADB) will help young people secure employment and create an entrepreneurship spirit among them.
Seconding the motion was United Democrtaic Front (UDF) Chikwawa East MP Rodrick Khumbanyiwa who agreed with Botomani on the country’s economic performance as shown by the interest of some donors, who are now willing to help Malawi achieve economic growth.
Khumbanyiwa said “ because of good governance, the financial status of the country is now improving.”
He said: “ Because of good governance, Mr Speaker, Sir, donors are now showing interest to assist our country. “
The UDF legislator said,irrigation schemes are being constructed across the country. Community colleges are also being constructed in all our districts and the initiative is going to be beyond our constituencies.
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