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Editorial CommentOpinion & Analysis

DPP’s use of tax kwachas is sickening

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For a government that fails to fund hospitals leading to unnecessary death of citizens and relies on Chinese charity to buy cars for Police to provide security its citizens, spending over K1 billion to buy vehicles for ministers and principal secretaries can only be sickening to the bone.
But justifying the move for the extravagant obscene expenditure, Ministry of Finance spokesman said Davis Sado:
“We have been receiving several requests from various Ministries, Departments and Agencies. The demand for vehicles is very huge, the reason being that government fleet is old. Because of [limited] resources we cannot procure the vehicles at once.
Therefore, we will be buying the vehicles in phases to cover for the aging fleet,” Sado said.
After being quizzed further Sado said the money that has been used to procure the vehicle was approved by Parliament in the 2017/18 budget.
But suppose Sado is right that there is need of vehicles in government ministries and departments, does it have to be this expensive at K1 billion and only the first phase if what the spokesman is saying that more is to come would be anything to go by?
After approving, does Parliament have access to the public purse to see what is in there and ascertain priorities? At end of the day, we entirely agree with the perspective provided by the opposition MCP finance spokeman Kusamba Dzonzi that what we are seeing is official theft as the same beneficiaries of the new expensive cars will also buy the so called old fleet.
Otherwise if the old vehicles have been deemed unfit, why is Plant and Vehicle Hire and Engineering Services (PVHES) auction them for further use under new owners when they have been deemed to have outlived their life span?
At the end of the day this huge appetite to use tax kwachas in this manner is not only sickening but an indictment on a government that has completely lost it.
How does the DPP government explain its failure to procure vehicles for Police, that protect us all, yet they are able to buy expensive ones for a few ministers and at such exorbitant cost?
What does President Peter Mutharika tell the poor people who his government is currently murdering due to its inability to buy enough drugs and equipment for hospitals when he allows this senseless expenditure to massage a few egos of ministers and principal secretaries to travel in opulence among rampant poverty?
What does he say to children of poor people who are still learning under trees when his government can spend a K1 billion kwacha just to buy vehicles so that a few people in government are happy?
No! This is sickening and abuse of the rampant resources that this country can hardly afford.
It is a case of wrong priorities by a government that is clueless but at the same time extravagant.
K1 billion is not small change for a poor country such as Malawi. This is a slap across the face of all hard working and tax- paying Malawians.

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