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Editorial CommentOpinion & Analysis

Goodall Gondwe and his magic money

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Finance Minister, Goodall Gondwe is a man of so many worries. Not only because his budget is failing to balance but also because having failed to balance his figures, Gondwe is also failing to explain to Malawians and other stakeholders how he is found with money that he could “throw away”.

Gondwe told Parliament that the Malawi Revenue Authority had failed to meet its revenue collection targets and that some donors were yet to release K60 billion into the budget. Consequently, Gondwe was forced to scale down his figures by slightly over K9 billion.

It is, therefore, incomprehensible that Gondwe told a press conference yesterday that the K4 billion his government planned to splash out to 86 members of Parliament was part of excess money the government had.

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To show how insensitivity Gondwe is, he said: “We could either throw it away, or we could use it. And we found in the Ministry that the K4 billion could be used very well in rural areas, in terms of [drilling] boreholes, in terms of schools, in terms of roads, bridges et cetera. We gave that money to the Ministry of Local Government. They accepted that and decided on how they were going to use it.”

Gondwe needs to be reminded that under the watch of the Democratic Progressive Party, Malawians have been forced to tighten their belts. The government has been coming up with a number of initiatives largely aimed at skimming the poor Malawian.

These measures include the increase in the price of the Malawi passport, changes in prices of driving licences as well as number plates. The government also increased tuition fees in public universities with undergraduate mature students coughing a prohibitive K900,000 per year. Besides, the government stopped providing food to university students forcing them to get food from locations near their campuses. All these initiatives have left the struggling Malawian poorer than before.

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This is the reason we find Gondwe’s desperate efforts to explain the reward that he gave to MPs for shooting down the Electoral Reforms Bills an insult to Malawians.

We demand that the government should come in the open and explain the source of funding and why it decided to be discriminatory in its generosity.

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