Zomba Changalume legislator John Chikalimba (People’s Party-PP) has said President Peter Mutharika made the “right choice” in appointing Joseph Mwanamvekha, an economist and former banker, as Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development.
Mwanamvekha was previously holding the ministerial post of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development where he was credited with boosting food security through surplus harvests of maize, Malawi’s staple grain.
He replaced Goodall Gondwe, who has been the Minister of Finance for a decade.
Speaking in parliament, Chikalimba pointed out that Mwanamvekha was “ a very successful Secretary to the Treasury in the Ministry of Finance.”
He said: “So, coupled with that experience, now he is going back to the Treasury, as head of Treasury, I do not doubt him.
“This country, through the President, Arthur Peter Mutharika, has made a right choice, at a right time, by appointing him as Minister of Finance.”
However, Chikalimba advised the Finance Minister that when he us doing his job, he should be himself, saying “ in the past, we had seen people who had not been telling the President the truth and not revealing what is really happening on the ground.”
He said the minister should not be economic with the truth on country’s economic growth.
“In 2014/2015 Financial Year, the economy did not perform because we were supposed to collect through MRA 9Malawi Revenue Authority) K540 billion, but we only collected K530.9 billion, which means we underperformed by 1.8 per cent. What did we tell the President? The economy really performed.
“In 2015/2016 Financial Year we were supposed to collect K653 billion through MRA, we only collected K643 billion, we underperformed by three per cent. But what did we tell the President? We said the economy is boosting and there is an economic growth. How can you have economic growth when you have underperformed in terms of revenue? “
Chikalimba continued: “In 2016/2017, we were supposed to collect K840 billion, we only collected K823 billion. We underperformed by two percent. But the report we got when the SONA [State of the Nation Address] was presented in this House, the President said during the last period, we performed very wonderfully, which is not true.
“So, it is my plea, that the Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development, we know you very well, you should be yourself. We are available to support you because whatever the opposition does and whatever the ruling party does, it has one common goal and that is the welfare of people of this country.
“I urge my friends, those that have solutions, we should not just stand and start criticising but we should offer solutions. However, we can only offer these solutions if your door is open.”Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :