MP says his constituents not impressed with budget

Member of Parliament for Phalombe North East has claimed that people in his constituency are not impressed with the 2020/21 budget.

The legislator, Dennis Namachekecha Phiri, who is a member of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) made the remarks in an interview with Malawi24 on Wednesday.

According to Phiri, the Tonse Alliance government has left out its promises made during the campaign for the 2020 Presidential Elections.

“The title of the budget is living the promise, you know these people did promise a lot of things but in the budget those things are not there, in other words they have left their promises. They are not living with what they had promised. The budget is empty even my people from Phalombe North East are very disappointed with the budget,” said Phiri.

During presentation of the budget, Minister of Finance Felix Mlusu said the Tonse Government is committed to delivering on the promises such as reduction of passport fees and removal of connection fees. He added that some of the promises are awaiting the reforms which the government is implementing.

Phiri, however, argued that when President Lazarus Chakwera and Vice President Saulos Chilima were campaigning, they told Malawians that the promises will be fulfilled immediately.

“They were saying once they have been ushered into government they are going to start so many development activities for example the one million jobs, talking of three meals per day. So we people from Phalombe North East thought that they will make a deliberate move where by the government will either say that the people of Mauzi we are giving you 20,000 bags of Maize and you in Swang’oma we are giving you 30,000 bags, that’s what we hoped but come the budget there was nothing like that.

“The youth of Phalombe North East were just expecting that once these people are ushered into government, the youth will be employed but that did not appear on the budget. We also are talking of reducing passport fees from K80,000 to K14,000 but it is not there in the budget, and this is the promise which they made. People from Phalombe North East strongly feel those things were supposed to be in the budget and we cannot afford to be taken for granted.

“I am not saying this because we are in opposition, I am saying this because it is true. We cannot accept that our people should be taken for granted, they need to account for the promises they made”, said Phiri.

He then expressed concern that some projects which were initiated during the administration of former President Peter Mutharika are missing the in the budget.

Phiri mentioned the Swang’oma Nasiyaya via Nambazi road which he said is not in the current budget. According to Phiri, works on the road were close to completion but the project will now be delayed.

“Swang’oma Nasiyaya via Nambazi road is a very important road, the fact that DPP lost does not necessarily mean that there should not be a continuity of such projects otherwise people of Phalombe North East will not forgive this government because they lied to them during campaign period,” said Phiri.