Africa News Bulletin

Malawi: Cluster wants K8.1 billion more for State House

The parliamentary cluster comprising members of the Public Appointments and Commissions, Statutory Corporations and State Enterprises has recommended that an additional K8.1 billion be allocated to State residences for capital expenditure.

The cluster indicated that, in the 2022-23 financial year, the draft estimate is at K14.5 billion but there is a need for additional funds for capital expenditure “to make good of the problems”.

“The biggest problem with this vote is that State residences are in dilapidated state, with non-functioning cold rooms and lifts at both Sanjika and Kamuzu palaces and a lot of underground water leakages through broken pipes, which are bring about very high water bills,” said cluster chairperson Joyce Chitsulo.

The legislators have also indicated that K2.5 billion more has to be allocated to the Office of the President and Cabinet (OPC) for it to operate effectively.

The cluster says this is despite that there is a significant jump in the OPC allocation from K12.3 billion in the last financial year to K22.2 billion.

Chitsulo told the august House that, out of the increase, K9 billion is for recovery from Tropical Storm Ana while K1 billion is for the procurement of vehicles for ministers, former presidents and principal secretaries.

Chitsulo said there was still need for additional funds for OPC to carry out its plans.

“In which most importantly are the additional allocations to the Former Presidents Cost Centre which has not been allocated sufficient funds despite the fact that the number of former presidents and vice presidents has increased,” she said.

On the other hand, the legislators rejected recommending K500 million additional funds to Malawi Electoral Commission (Mec) for the constituency demarcation exercise.

The cluster has insisted that, instead, the commission should find a way of recovering K600 million it invested in Capital Alliance but has been failing to recover.

Chitsulo told Parliament that the total allocation to Mec was K4.3 billion, out of which K158 million was for the demarcation exercise but the commission argued that it needed K500 million more.

“The cluster wishes to request Mec to find a way of recovering the K600 million from the investment for the planned activities on demarcation exercise.

“Furthermore, Mec should present to its relevant parliamentary committee a detailed account of the utilisation of nomination fees,” Chitsulo said.

Several clusters, including those of Trade, Industry and Tourism as well as HIV and Aids and Health, responded to the budget.

READ original article on The Times

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