In a rare display of civilized and mature politics, Leader of the Government Business in Parliament, Kondwani Nankhumwa, on Friday, June 30, 2017 heaped huge praise on the Leader of Opposition in Parliament and all opposition leaders and parties “for their unflinching support during the budget session and adoption of the K1.3 trillion 2017/2018 national budget”.
Nankhumwa was speaking in Parliament at the close 6th meeting in the 46thSession of Parliament and the 2016/2018 budget meeting.
While obviously thanking the governing DPP leadership, cabinet ministers and MPs for their contributions and suggestions, Nankhumwa also passionately hailed the Leader of Opposition and Malawi Congress Party (MCP) President Reverend Dr. Lazarus Chakwera and all MCP MPs.
“Your actions, love, advice and kindness left me dumbfounded. Let me infact reveal to the House that we could sometimes spend hours talking with leader of opposition, setting aside our political differences and agree on how best we can run this sitting of Parliament.
“It is my prayer that the unity displayed so far in this House must be taken and extended outside Parliament for the benefit of all Malawians,” said the leader of government business in Parliament.
The Mulanje Central legislator, who is also Local Government and Rural Development Minister, also thanked the Leaders of People’s Party (PP) and Aford, their MPs and Independents for their individual contributions and support during the Budget Session.
“That’s the way to go. Malawi remains one country. Let’s continue working together for the good of the nation. Your support can’t in any way be taken for granted,” he said.
Nankhumwa also singled out the Speaker of Parliament, Richard Msowoya, describing him as “a rare political breed full of wisdom and integrity.” Within the short period of time of being leader of the House, he had learnt a lot from him, he said.
He congratulated Finance Minister, Goodall Gondwe, “for delivering perhaps one of the most rounded budget statements of our time on June 5, 2017”.
Nankhumwa said the budget underscored President Arthur Peter Mutharika’s vision “to transform this country through uplifting the social-economic condition of Malawians”.
“Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would particularly like to hail the removal of VAT from milk; the increase in minimum wage from K19,000 to K25,000 per month and the adjustment of the tax free income bracket from K20,000.00 per month to K30,000.00 per month as some of the highlights that have made this budget truly representative.
However, he said the budget would just be a piece of brilliant document if, as representatives of the people, the MPs abrogate on their oversight responsibilities to ensure that it is successfully implemented.
“As legislators, it is very much within our call to make sure this budget does not just remain a piece of document. By ensuring that business, especially bills and other matters proceed through this house smoothly and efficiently, this budget can become part of a living vehicle through which Malawians actualize their common aspirations,” he said.
On corruption, Nankumwa said that as government, they cannot and we will not bury their heads in the sand and pretend that corruption is not happening at different levels.
“Running government, Mr. Speaker Sir, is not just a cut and dried affair; it is big business that also fraught with so many challenges, among them corruption. Corruption is there and still threatening to erode the very socioeconomic gains that government is making.
“It is against this backdrop that I would like to hail His Excellency Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika, who in his address highlighted government’s resolve to intensify measures for the prevention of corruption,” he said.
He reiterated President Mutharika’s call for a mindset change in order to take real action against corruption and urged fellow MPs to start looking at corruption as a common challenge, not just an issue for government to deal with.
“To fight corruption, we need concerted efforts of members from both sides of this august house within the context of patriotism and nationalism,” he said, adding that that they have a huge responsibility, as Parliament, to serve the burning expectations of Malawians.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :