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Opposition punches holes in budget

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Opposition political parties have said the 2018/2019 budget Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development, Goodall Gondwe, unveiled in parliament yesterday does not offer hope to Malawians.

They argue that the budget presented is only aimed at creating channels through which government will seek to release funds for activities that are not in the blueprint.

Leader of Opposition Lazarus Chakwera described the K1.5 trillion financial plan as a campaign tool.

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“I think one would tell, from the word of the Minister of Finance as he was presenting his statement, that they too are not clear about what they want to achieve. It is a campaign tool. It’s a tool that they think Malawians will buy into, by trying to do what they have failed to do in four years. It’s not going to work,” Chakwera said.

He added: “They say they have won confidence of the international community, yet the same community does not want to support them.”

Malawi Congress Party (MCP) spokesperson on Finance, Alexander Kusamba Dzonzi said it would be difficult for government to fulfil what it has promised.

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“It is a horrible day because Malawians have been promised paradise when the truth is (that) what the Minister of Finance has presented is hell. Hearing from the Minister, what we can get is that government is trying to fix in one year what it has failed in four years. That is not going to work. Malawians should brace for increase in prices. It’s a budget for the rich. The poor are going to suffer,” Kusamba Dzonzi said.

People’s Party (PP) spokesperson on Finance, John Chikalimba also said the budget is not addressing the needs of Malawians.

“I don’t think the budget is genuinely addressing the needs of Malawians. One of the issues people need to be addressed is the challenge we have with energy. We continue experiencing blackouts. But not much has been said in dealing with this problem. We also have water challenges. But we hear that government is going to use K5 billion to plant trees. That money can be used for some other purposes, for example assisting our children in universities,” he said.

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