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Editorial CommentOpinion & Analysis

Be transparent on MSB proceeds

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In a country where financial resources are in short supply, especially after traditional donors decided to stop pumping resources in the national budget, it baffles us that the government has been failing to tell us what it intends to do with money realised from the sale of Malawi Savings and Inde banks.

This is especially surprising because the government has been failing to pump resources in crucial sectors, notably the health sector where shortage of drugs has become a norm.

As we are speaking, some students in tertiary education institutions are destitute because the student loans board is under-funded. Recently, this paper carried a story of a student who was sleeping outside with college guards in Blantyre.

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In short, problems are many in the country and, surely, the idea of the government failing to decide on what to do with the money does not hold water.

Perhaps University of Malawi economics professor Ben Kalua is right to express doubts over availability of the money, which is being kept at the Reserve Bank of Malawi.

To be on the safer side, may be the government should come in the open and declare its goods. It should show us, ordinary citizens, that the money is, in the first place, there.

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Otherwise, at the rate our public officers abuse resources, notably the K4 billion payout the government wanted to secretly reward legislators who bent the will of the people by voting against Electoral Reforms (Amendment) Bills, it would be foolhardy to believe the government on this.

Let Malawians see evidence that the money is there. After that, let Malawians be given a chance to offer suggestions on what they want to do with the money. After all, it is our money.

Now that the government has failed to decide on what to do with the money, let citizens offer suggestions on how best the money should be spent. Otherwise, we may keep on banking on eggs that are not there.

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