Written by YAMIKANI SIMUTOWE
BLANTYRE—As debate continues on fuel allowance demands by members of parliament, local human rights activist Billy Mayaya is soliciting signatures from concerned Malawians to petition the Speaker of Parliament Henry Chimunthu-Banda against the implementation of the 500 litre a month to each MP as agreed in 2008.
The MPs also want government to pay them K10 million each in fuel allowances in arrears dating back to 2009.
On Tuesday, the MPs threatened to boycott debate on the current midterm budget review meeting at the parliament building in Lilongwe in a bid to push for the allowances.
The country's former president, the late Bingu wa Mutharika, refused to give the MPs the allowance, saying it was too expensive for the economy.
Likewise, Pres. Joyce Banda on Monday condemned the MPs saying government has no money to honour such hefty demands from them.
Mayaya is also against the demands by the MPs.
“The country’s economy was damaged by the previous government and the current administration is trying to put things back on track. As such, we are looking forward to petitioning the Speaker against bowing down to the MPs demands,” Mayaya said.
Meanwhile, debate on the midterm budget review is expected to continue Wednesday afternoon.
Opposition United Democratic Front (UDF) said Tuesday that it couldn't force its MPs to contribute to debate on Finance Minister Ken Lipenga’s midterm budget review statement.
(c) The Maravi Post 2013