Malawi Parliament on Tuesday morning deferred a budgetary vote for Malawi Defence Force (MDF) as opposition took to task Finance Minister Goodall Gondwe over some aspects of the increased budget.
Opposition members of parliament took turns during the morning session to quiz Gondwe but he reluctantly answered the queries.
He told the inquisitive parliamentarians that issues of military are sensitive because they are security in nature.
Parliament then agreed that Gondwe should face the defence and security committee of parliament in camera where he should clarify issues raised by the legislators.
However, other votes were passed unchallenged.
The deferring of the vote comes just a day after MDF soldiers on United Nations mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo complained that they do not have suitable equipment gear to fight the country’s rebels in north Kivu, a mountainous, muddy terrain with thick forest.
Director of military operations in MDF told a group of Malawi journalists at the battle field that the MDF even deducts 15 percent of their hard earned UN allowances to fund some of Malawi’s military operations in view of increasing budget cuts to the external security department.
Deputy Minister of defence Malisen Ndau appreciated the problems and said the government would look into them.
Meanwhile, Centre for the Development of People (Cedep) executive director Gift Trapence urged the government to invest in soldiers working in DRC.
“These are people who are sacrificing their lives for Africa, they need all what they want,” he said.
Some members of parliament however said past experience has it that some leaders have used the MDF to get money for party or personal use through dubious transactions as MPs hardly examine transaction details of the department on the pretext they are sensitive security issues.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :