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Speaker dares MPs on Aids resources

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Speaker of Parliament, Richard Msowoya, has called on Members of Parliament (MPs) to up their oversight responsibility so that resources allocated towards HIV/Aids interventions are used for their intended purposes.

Malawi has for the past years witnessed incidences of Aids funds being abused or not being adequately utilised to respond to the ravaging pandemic which has affected different sections of society.

And speaking in Mangochi on Monday, when he officially opened a three-day training workshop for MPs from different parliamentary committees, Msowoya said in the absence of adequate donor support, it is particularly important that Aids funds are not misused.

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The training was organised by the Southern Africa Development Community Parliamentary Forum (Sadc PF) in collaboration with the Malawi Parliament.

Its aim is to strengthen the capacity of different committees to competently interrogate and pass resolutions that can impact on creating a conducive environment for increased domestic resource for scaling up universal access to services for HIV/Aids interventions.

“Donors have left us and this means they have left us with our problems and one of the problems is HIV and Aids. So we have to sit down and think about how we are going to finance relevant interventions.

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“This also means we have to be careful with how we are handling resources, especially on the part of staff directly involved in HIV activities. That’s why MPs are supposed to be serious on overseeing how resources are utilised,” said Msowoya.

He said, as a country, Malawi has to continuously talk about economic and resource prudence because of the history of abuse of public funds which is now dubbed Cashgate.

On behalf of the Sadc PF management, one of the institution’s executive members, Jessie Kabwila, said Malawi needs to be prudent with HIV/Aids resources because the country is in trouble in so many ways.

“There is something that we are not doing right and part of it is either we are not allocating enough resources or we are putting our funds in the wrong place. That is why MPs need to be equipped to fight HIV/Aids,” Kabwila said.

She added that Sadc PF has allocated $500, 000 for such trainings and Malawi has been given $56, 000 for both the MPs’ training and another training for civil society organisations which will start on Wednesday at Mponela in Dowa.

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