Governance and human rights consultant Undule Mwakasungula has lauded Members of Parliament (MPs) for passing the 2019/2020 national budget pegged at K1.7 trillion.
The House passed the budget on Thursday last week despite disagreements on the allocation of about K1.6 billion kwacha for the construction of football stadiums for Nyasa Big Bullets and Be Forward Wanderers which are private entities.
Mwakasungula is of the view that the lawmakers have put their national interests above partisan politics and that the passing of the budget is victory for those interested to see the nation move forward.
“As a nation, we need to move forward regardless of our political differences and one of the best ways is the solidarity the [MPs] have shown through passing the 2019/20 budget,” Mwakasungula says in a statement.
He also calls for transparency and accountability in the implementation of the budget for the government to meet Malawians’ expectations.
Speaking earlier, Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development, Joseph Mwanamvekha, said he was happy that the House had passed the budget.
“This is my first budget and I was not sure of what could happen, suffice to say I am happy that the House has supported it,” Mwanamvekha said.
Interim Leader of Opposition, Lobin Lowe, also said he was happy that the budget had been passed but was quick to point out that the only worry was the allocation of finances to the construction of the stadiums.
“We are happy that we have passed the national budget because that is the only priority we had in the house. We are only worried that we were defeated on the allocation to the Ministry of Youth for the construction of the stadiums,” Lowe said.
Various stakeholders including the Human Rights Defenders Coalition have criticised the allocation of funds for the construction of the stadiums, arguing there are more pressing needs which require public funds to be spent on.
Eric Msikiti is a Senior Reporter/News Producer at Times Group. Though relatively young, Eric boasts years of experience in Malawi’s media industry.