As the mid-year budget session gets hot, DPP was the first to respond through its Financial Spokesperson Hon.Joseph Mwanamvekha.
The trained Economist from the University of Malawi and abroad who is also the immediate past Finance Minister in DPP lead government begun his response by thanking the Former Head Of State Prof.Arthur Peter Mutharika for entrusting and showing confidence in him with the responsibility to be Spokesperson on Finance in Malawi National Assembly.
A soft spoken and calm Mwanamvekha reminded the house about what he told the national when the Finance Minister Presented the full 2020 / 2021 budget in August 2020 that the budget was a consumptive and not a development oriented, unfriendly to the business sector, unrealistic, overburdening in debts and total loss to Malawians.
He continued ..”Madam Speaker, as they say, time is the best judge, I feel vindicated almost six months down the line, it is sad to note that Malawians are still hopeless as the new captain they entrusted with the responsibility to steer the ship has met a storm and hit a rock in the process and subsequently lost the direction instead of going to Canaan is now heading towards Baghdad, the Capital City of Iraq! Malawians feel cheated and are now missing His Excellency Prof. Arthur Peter Mutharika’s leadership. They have now realized that indeed Chitsime chimadziwika kuya chikaphwa!”….
The reknown economist by training and the former minister in which Malawi saw the single digit in inflation sited the missed revenue and expenditure targets where the government has failed to collect enough but managed to spend more than their budget that has lead to the extensive government borrowing of over 30 Billion as of December 2020.
Mwanamvekha continued to punch holes in the Chakwera Mid Year Budget report that it lacked merit when it has omitted the exchange rate when it is the key macro-economic fundamental in the budgeting process.
Addressing the National Assembly through the Speaker, Mwanamvekha re-enforced his claims that the budget is a consumptive budget because in the first half total expenditure was K998.5 Billion consisting of K 830.1 Billion recurrent expenditure and K168.4 Billion in development expenditure. This means that 83 percent of the expenditure in the first half was consumption!
On the Expenditure budget, Mwanamvekha told the house that in the second half, the Minster is projecting that total net expenditure will hover around K 1.336 Trillion of which K888.1 Billion will be recurrent expenditure and K447.4 Billion will be development, and the Minister is also extending to indicate that out of the K447.4 Billion, K395.7 Billion will be foreign financed and K51.6 Billion will be locally financed, this implies that we as a country will only contribute 11 percent from local resources towards development budge which is worrying because it means without donor support, Malawi will never develop. This level of donor dependency is not inspiring to say the least!
Among the many lopeholes the Former Minister punched was the failed covid-19 response management where we have seen the Teachers being denied the Risk Allowances when they are told to go and resume teaching in a risk environment where they can get the virus.
Joseph Mwanamvekha did not mince words on the promises and lies by the MCP and its partners that includes:
a. The K15,000 monthly Allowance for the senior citizens aged 65 and above;
b. Non renewable driver’s license at K14,000
c. The tax free week holiday;
d. The mega farms every constituency
e. The one million jobs in the first year of the MCP Government;
f. Obtaining a Passport at a reduced price of K14,000;
g. The 400 modern roads within 8 months of MCP administration;
h. The construction of Health Centers on every 7 kilometers;
i. The much talked about three meals a day;
j. The bullet train from Blantyre to Lilongwe just to mention but a few.
He concluded his speech by emphatically inform this August House and the entire nation that the only party that delivers what it promises is the DPP under the leadership of His Excellency Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika and assured the nation that the DPP is fully aware that Malawians are regretting on the choice they made on 23rd June 2020 but they should not despair as DPP is coming back in 2025!
The Learned and experienced Economist cum Politician is one of the candidates to the DPP Elective Convention to be conducted in 2023