Floods Recovery Loan Bill stirs debate
A heated debate ensued in Parliament yesterday when opposition MPs accused the government of failure to be transparent on the utilisation of financial contributions that development partners, companies and some organisations donated towards floods’ response.
The legislators asked the government to give a breakdown of how the funds have been used before the House approved a loan meant for a floods recovery project.
Government re-introduced the loan Bill yesterday to secure $80million (about K36 billion) from International Development Association (IDA) for a four-year floods recovery project.
The Bill has passed after some amendments.
Opposition MPs on Friday ganged up and shot down the tabling of the Bill arguing that it lacked details on how the funds will be used.
According to Finance Minister Goodall Gondwe, among others the money will be used to respond to immediate needs, strengthen institutions to respond better to disasters as well as restore agriculture livelihoods.
“Various organisations supported Malawi with about K20 billion. Now these are a lot of monies. What we are asking is that how were there funds utilised,” queried MCP’s Joseph Njobvuyalema.
He added that so far government has not been accountable and that Parliament was only executing its oversight function.
“This Bill is so vague, even the words that have been used are not clear. We would have loved if government had released a blueprint showing how this will be implemented,” Said MCP finance spokesperson on parliament Kaphamtengo Yona.
But Gondwe put his foot down, saying the demands were outrageous and un-procedural.
However, the opposition MPs did not relent and threatened to frustrate the process prompting 1st Deputy Speaker of parliament Esther Mcheka Chilenje to adjourn the House for a lunch break.
But in an interview, Leader of the House Francis Kasaila faulted the MPs for politicising the whole issue, saying government through the office of the Vice-President would soon make public such
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