Written by MANENO CHIMULALA
MZUZU--As Pres Joyce Banda opened parliament Friday in the capital Lilongwe, opposition Malawi Forum for Unity and Development (Mafunde) vowed to ask tough questions on how the government overspent on the farm input subsidy program (FISP).
Speaking on Capital FM radio during Day Break Malawi program monitored by MaraPost, Mafunde president George Mnesa said irregularities which have characterized this season’s FISP have affected the 2012-2013 budget as government has spent more than double the initial budget allocated.
“Government should explain well on how they have implemented the farm input subsidy program. Government has overspent on the subsidy program almost from the initial planned K10 billion to K50 billion owing to irregularities that have characterized the FSP,” said Mnesa.
He also commented on the country’s current drug shortage and accused the Anti-Corruption Bureau of being ineffective.
“The irregularities in implementing government programs are due to the ineffectiveness of the country's graft body. I think the appointment of anti-corruption director should not be in the hands of the president.
“The appointment should pass through parliament. In this way the ACB will be effective in tracking graft in government ministries,” he said.
Commenting on the declaration of assets by Pres Joyce Banda, Mnesa said it’s very important for civil servants to declare their assets because it becomes easy to track corruption in government.
Mnesa grabbed the headlines last year after he accused the former ruling Democratic Progressive Party of making up figures in order to give an impression that the zero-deficit budget was working.
Mnesa told parliament last year that the Malawi Revenue Authority had borrowed money from commercial banks to give an impression that revenue collection was impressive in the first half of financial year.
It turned out Mnesa was right.
(c) The Maravi Post 2013