Legislators on Tuesday put Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development Goodall Gondwe on his feet explaining why the government is buying 18 vehicles for office of vice president and a K3 billion allocated to the office.
Rumphi east MP Kamlepo Kalua asked why the government decided to give vice president Saulos Chilima an 18 vehicle convoy.
MP for Kasungu South East Constituency, Khumbize Kandodo Chiponda, wondered why the government was buying new vehicles for the veep when the economy was in shambles.
“These are hard times and everyone including the President and the vice president must be the first ones to show that we are in the hard times,” said the MP.
The Office of the vice president has been allocated K4 billion and the MPs settled on the vote for close to one hour scrutinising it.
However, Finance minister Gondwe said the vice president uses six vehicles only on his convoy.
“The 18 vehicles are pool vehicles and others for officials. We are not only buying new vehicles for the office but for all government departments whose vehicles are now ageing and can’t move,” he said.
Gondwe had also to convince the inquisitive MPs why the government has allocated K2 billion for Unforseen Expenditures.
During the debate, legislators claimed President Peter Mutharika and his administration is sidelining vice president Chilima and Lilongwe Mpenu MP, Makala Ngozo (Malawi Congress Party) said the Head of State is only giving Chilima “donkey work.”
But Mwanza Central MP, Davis Katsonga, dismissed the assertion, saying: “ The work that VP is doing is not donkey work.”
He said the President is criticised when he is not delegating the VP but when he assigns him to perform some functions, “you call it donkey work, that’s so wrong.”
Unlike in the morning when only one vote was passed, close to a dozen were being passed as at 5 pm, prompting Dedza east MP Juliana Lunguzi to claim second deputy speaker Clement Chiwaya was bulldozing the legislators into passing the votes during the committee of supply.
‘Undemocratic and tribalistic DPP’
Business was however almost derailed when Lilongwe Msozi South MP Vitus Dzoole Mwale described the Democratic Progressive Party government as “undemocratic” and that it practises nepotism.
This was the second time within a day that the MPs described the DPP led government as tribalistic.
Dzoole Mwale was commenting on the ministry of Education vote where it was indicated that the government had constructed and finished 13 primary and secondary schools, one in the north, another one in the centre and the rest in the south.
He also wondered why progress of three teachers training colleges in Phalombe, Chiradzulu and Liwonde were progressing when there was non in the north and centre.
Information minister said this was done by Kamuzu who favoured the central region.
Chiwaya advised the legislators to always think outside tribal lines.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :