Opposition People’s Party (PP) has said in parliament that the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) government is failing to persuade the Western donors to resume their budgetary support to the country and tipped government on the need to kickstart fresh negotiations than flap his hands in despair as public health and education sectors continue to collapse.
The country’s donors, which contribute 40 percent of the fiscal budget, are currently withholding about $150 million in aid and remain concerned by the plunder of government resources under the administration of Peter Mutharika’s predecessor, Joyce Banda.
The continued suspension of aid leaves Malawi in a dire situation; evidenced by shortages of essential commodities like medicine in government hospitals.
The donors bluntly asserted that Mutharika should first of all clean up the mess created by the ‘Cashgate’ scandal which saw the government lose millions of dollars through institutionalised fraud and corruption before aid could start flowing again.
But PP leader in Parliament, Uladi Mussa, said on Monday that government is failing to please the donors and see aid flowing again.
He reminded the president that all his predecessors came in when the donors had left but they managed to bring them back after negotiating with them, suggesting to government to hire professional international negotiators.
“When Kamuzu Banda left stage house in 1994, the Paris Club had left. Former president Bakili Muluzi went to New York to persuade donors to return and they did. Ten year later, when Bingu took over donors had also left due to corruption and bad governance of UDF. Bingu did the same; he went to New York in September 2004 to give his maiden speech. He put together a team of himself , former President Dr Joyce Banda then foreign affairs minister Ken Lipenga, Dr Goodall Gondwe and George Chaponda to meet several donors including IMF and World Bank to discuss the economic situation of Malawi.
“He persuaded them to return but he also vigorously lobbied for the agriculture subsidy program. The team succeeded and the same happened in 2012 when Joyce Banda came in the donors had left due to Bingu’s poor administration but it took less than 100 days for donors to came back”, he said
The Mutharika administration has been saying Malawi should wean itself from donor support given the oft unpredictable nature of their giving.
But Mussa said that time is not now, arguing that t hey are the devil Mutharika should be prepared to dine with, at least for now.
PP leader in the House also said the reforms government is implementing should get the parliamentary nod.
Mussa said PP is worried that in future Malawi will end up seeing 33% of the civil servants being rendered jobless as recommendations of the Public Service Reforms which he says his party feels are not done in good faith as they lack transparency.
“Mr Speaker Sir, Peoples Party feels that any public service reforms must be done through Parliament to give it a constitutional blessing and accountability not what we’re seeing now,” queried Mussa amid hand applause from opposition benches.
Mussa said the situation on the ground is too dire for President Mutharika to hold his hands and look on as the economic crisis worsens and people continue living in untold misery.
He asked the government to be prudent and work on the IMF demands to win back donors.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :