The European Union (EU) has warned Malawi Government that it will not resume its aid unless Parliament passes the Access to Information (ATI) bill.
Speaking exclusively to Malawi24 on Sunday, EU head of delegation to Malawi, Marchel Gerrmann, insisted that his organisation is still not convinced with the transparency and accountability of Malawi Government.
He said since their funds come from taxpayers, it will be difficult to some extent for them to donate to a country whose transparency and accountability they doubt.”
“We hope that access to information bill will help holding Malawi Government accountable thus without Parliament passing it into law, we will never donate to Malawi again,” said Gerrmann.
This comes after the Malawi Government recently rejected the tabling of the bill in Parliament on the basis that it has some errors.
However, the decision seems to have contradicted President Peter Mutharika’s promise that once voted into power the bill will be passed into law.
But the international donor community including the World Bank said among other conditions, they will resume their donation once the bill is considered to be a law.
Malawi24 understands that most donors gave government about 20 conditions to be followed if their donations are to be resumed.
However, government has not yet achieved a single condition, according to reports. Donors were contributing 40 percent to the national budget each financial year but they cut their aid after learning that the aid was not being used for its intended purposes.
This fate has since seen the country introducing zero aid budgets which most countrymen feel is widening the gap between the rich and the majority poor. The budget has seen government introducing heavy taxes on most indigenous goods and services including that of SMS and data (about 10%). Local media reports indicate that things are not going well in almost every government ministry.
The ministry of health is reportedly in shambles as there are many problems rocking hospitals across the country. The ministry of agriculture has not been spared as there are as well many problems ranging from food insecurity and delays in distribution of subsidised farm inputs. In the ministry of education, government has seen a lot of problems such that recently, it just reasoned on hiking fees in secondary schools and universities as one way of raising funds to facilitate its zero aid budgets. Due to the same problem of inadequate funding, government is also failing to deploy about 10,000 primary school teachers it trained years ago.
However, government seems to be confident that things will be fine in the near future without depending on donors.