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Government wants 8 new vehicles on president’s motorcade

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Government has unveiled plans to purchase eight new vehicles for President Peter Mutharika’s convoy out of the K5. 3 billion earmarked for State Residences for 2016/2017 financial year.

The revelation was made in Lilongwe when officials from the State Residences appeared before a cluster of three committees: Legal Affairs, Commissions and Statutory Authorities and Public Appointments (Pac) at parliament building.

Deputy director general, Lawford Palani, told the gathering that the vehicles will be a replacement of the fleet that has aged.

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He said most of the vehicles being used are experiencing breakdowns hence the need to replace them.

“Some of the vehicles were procured in 2005 and in this year’s budget we plan to at least to purchase new vehicles,” Palani said

He, however, dismissed reports that were in the media regarding the State Residence having new fleet of vehicles on Mutharika’s convoy.

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They, however, did not say how much civil servants will have to cough in to get the vehicles.

In their presentation of achievements and challenges in last financial year, Palani and his colleagues said they did not receive K850 million development funding, which raised eyebrows among the MPs as to where the funds had gone.

Deliberations were, however, interrupted when Palani admitted a number of anomalies that were conspicuously seen in the budget document as opposed to what was presented before Treasury.

For instance Palani said the document says the State Residences plans to have its own print house to reduce costs of printing services incurred in the last year, instead of indicating it as a challenge experienced from the 2015/2016.

The matter also raised eyes brows on the credibility of the document and the cluster, through its chairperson Lilian Patel, sent back the officials to review all the anomalies before making any approval on their budget.

Lack of clarity on the budget documents also affected the meeting earlier in the day as most members seemed not to be conversant with the current Programme Based Budgeting documentation.

It is also said the problem affected other committees.

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