Malawi Congress Party (MCP) lawmaker Mc Steyen Mkomba (Dedza Central) told parliament on Tuesday that the infamous zero-deficit budget (ZDB) has proved beyond doubt that it is a concept that should never have been followed and called for Mutharika government to abandon it.
Mkomba said government should replace the budget and find some money from donors to avoid more misery
He said “government should wake up and see that the ZBD will not generate foreign exchange nor does it change anything as prices are going up.”
Mkomba said Mutharika government insistence that Malawi can be independent of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is “a non-starter.”
The opposition lawmaker’s statement comes after Member of Parliament for Balaka South (Mafunde), George Nnesa, exposed government when he told parliament that Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) borrowed some money from commercial banks to paint a picture that the revenue collecting body over-collected in the first half of the financial year to justify the success of the zero deficit budget.
This meant that figures which President Bingu wa Mutharika gave when he delivered the State of the Nation address that domestic revenue collection amounted to K120.1 billion, against a midyear target of K115.6 billion with a surplus of K4.9 billion, were cooked up trickery.
But government lawmakers continue to “bootlick” in painting the rosy picture of the financial plan.
One of the Mutharika’s ‘cheerleaders’, Christopher Ngwira (Mzimba Hora) said the country’s first president, Dr. Kamuzu Banda, could have endorsed the ZDB .
“Our founding father Kamuzu wanted us to stand on our own. He wanted our independence to have a meaning and this Ngwazi (Bingu wa Mutharika) has realised that dream. Most people who have criticised the Zero deficit budget simply don’t understand what it means,” said Ngwira.
And former bodyguard to Kamuzu, Nicholas Dausi (Mwanza Central), another Mutharika’s ‘hand clapper’ and deputy minister said Kamuzu believed in financing the budget using local resources.
Malawi adopted the ZBD after donors withdrew budgetary support due to governance and human rights concerns. The government is facing an uphill task to finance projects and has resorted in introducing taxes on almost everything, the latest being bank deposits.
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