Plan B: DPP to stop budget passing

The opposing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) heavy from Section 65 ruling restraint bitterness, plans to foil the winding up speech by Finance Minister Dr. Ken Lipenga through a court injunction later this week.

A high profile DPP team over the weekend hatched the plans to obtain a stay on an earlier injunction by youthful legislator Chikumbutso Hiwa restraining the Speaker of Parliament from giving his verdict likely to have thrown out scores of MPs who joined the People’s Party (PP) from the DPP.

An impeccable source told Nyasa Ttimes yesterday that should the DPP fail to obtain a court stay order on the Section 65 case, then the political battle may go to the wire and turn on to the budget.

Peter Mutharika: Plan B

“Initially, Peter Mutharika (DPP interim president) objected to all suggestions that may impact the passing of the budget but other political gurus in the party openly said PP was riding on the back of DPP investment in sponsoring the MPs into the house hence plan B,” said the source.

So what is the plan B?

DPP Members of Parliament (name withheld) will obtain an injunctions any day this week restraining beleagured Finance Minister from moving a motion winding up debate on the 2012/13 budget.

This will be based on premise that the Minister in question was being probed of “lying” on sugar coating the 2011/12 budget which was smeared with strong allegations that the Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) borrowed money to garnish the revenue collection.

“As the whole world knows that Hon Lipenga is being inquired on his conduct to deny knowledge of funds being borrowed to sex up the figures of the current budget (2011/12) that the inquiry has not made public its findings, the Minister cannot be trusted to spearhead another budget (2012/13),” said the source.

While this plan looks certain to block the Minister from presiding over the last mile of the budget process in Parliament, in his absence the Deputy Minister of Finance Ralph Jooma could complete the task.

However, another injunction would be on standby to stop the house discussing any matter on the budget processed by the current Minister of Finance and his deputy.

“We would want the results of that Inquiry made public and the House debate on them because the issues rose from Parliament and not elsewhere,” another source said.

This process could extend the Parliament sitting beyond this week hence missing the July 1 deadline by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and other donors on having the budget at hand.

It would also affect other measures such as revenue collection implementation, delays in effecting civil servants salaries, importation of subsidy programme inputs and many others.

Donors are currently on standby to release aid to Malawi through the budget.

“Without the budget, no budgetary support could come in. We don’t want people to suffer but at the same time we don’t want a situation of a Constitutional  breakdown. Section 65 is in the Constitution and hence the PP is raping the constitution for not letting the President uphold it by freeing the Speaker declaring the seats of those who crossed the floor vacant,” said the source.

Diplomatic source has hinted that President Joyce Banda can salvage good reputation by inviting all political party leaders to end the whining in Parliament.

“We have no control over political issues in Parliament in your country, but I think President Banda can strike a mutual deal to avoid political tension in Parliament which will affect her government’s performance. I think a give and take solution can hand in good results in Malawi politically,” said the source.

Two weeks ago DPP Secretary General Wakuda Kamanga openly declared that the party would revenge after a deal with the PP on political governance was hijacked by massive exodus of its MPs to the PP. He did not elaborate.

He was unavailable to comment whether this is one of the plans the DPP has lined up as pay-back stunts.

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