“Donors must not resume aid to Malawi!” Malawi Congress Party President Lazarus Chakwera has asked donors not to resume aid to Malawi saying President Peter Mutharika is not trustworthy and that the DPP administration will only cashgate the aid funds which will then leave the country in deeper financial turmoil.
Chakwera, who is also leader of opposition in Parliament, advised donors to continue supporting the country through kind by working with NGOs.
“I would like to appeal to our donors to consider most of the help to be in kind and not cash which is prone to abuse because this Government lacks fiscal discipline” Chakwera issued the advice despite acknowledging that “external shocks have exacerbated the country’s current economic instability”.
He made remarks yesterday in his response to the speech that President Peter Mutharika made when he presided over the opening of 46th session of Parliament.
Mutharika despite proclaiming during his speech that ‘the age of donor aid is over for Malawi’, urged donors to resume aid saying “Malawi was at a very critical stage without direct budgetary support”. Donors suspended aid in September 2013 because of the cashgate scandal that saw over K24 billion of public funds looted by government and Joyce Banda’s Peoples Party officials within six month from April 2013. In addition, auditing by PwC conducted with support from the Germany government found about K553 billion was uncounted for during the 2 years that Madame Joyce Banda was president. Mutharika said without aid, Malawi was at the blink of obliteration.
But despite aid cut leaving millions of poor Malawians in destitute, Chakwera stated that the current regime is also not trustworthy.
“The President repeatedly claimed that the age of donor aid is over despite repeatedly complaining about the lack of direct budget support and repeatedly acknowledging the impact of the aid our development partners are giving through other channels in the country. What is over is not the age of donor aid, but the age of donor aid being given to people who cannot be trusted.”
Chakwera said it was because of this that President Mutharika failed to make a comprehensive case for donors to resume direct budgetary support in his speech.
“This President has given our development partners no confidence that he can cut down spending, or balance the budget, or get rid of waste, or crack down on criminal acts of greed and corruption perpetrated in the government of his own party. That is why he could not make a case for direct budgetary support” said the MCP leader.