He said the police would continue to get fuel on credit basis so that operations do not stop. He called on companies that render services to the police to continue doing so on credit because payment would be made at all cost.
Said Botomani in an interview on Thursday: “Yes, we accept the challenge. Yes we will pay for the fuel that we are borrowing. We cannot stay idle. We have to serve the people. We are applying the 99th sense, so borrowing is part of the initiative. Let them continue borrowing until funding normalises but nobody should give lack of funds as an excuse to stop working. Companies should understand that they will get their money.”
However, Botomani justified the upgrading of the payment system. He said it was necessary because it would prevent Cashgate (plunder of public resources) issues.
“Our system is being upgraded. We are removing old data and feeding new servers with new information. The payment system is decentralised from the Central Government to regional Treasury offices which are now pay centres,” said Botomani.
Treasury spokesperson, Nations Msowoya, said yesterday: “That is a big issue. We need to come up with a proper answer. We are finding out. We will come back to you in the next 20 minutes.”
When called later he did not answer his phone.
However, Chancellor College political analyst, Blessings Chinsinga, said security issues ought not be compromised at any cost and he called on the Mutharika administration to tell Malawians how his government will solve not only security challenges but the overall economic crisis the country is embroiled in.
“Security cannot be solved in isolation but [in line with] the overall economic crisis. It is not about the DPP administration failing to deliver in [terms of] of security but the overall economic problem. Government should tell Malawians how they can solve the problem, otherwise every sector will collapse,” said Chinsinga.
But executive director for Justice Link and lawyer Justin Dzonzi said the DPP administration has found itself in a fix because of lack of donor support. He said the DPP was not to blame for the withdrawal of the donors but Peoples Party because of its infamous Cashgate issues.
But he said change of administration should be DPP’s task to win back donor confidence.
Dzonzi said the DPP government is in a situation to choose between two evils thus to fund essential services like hospitals or fund police.
“It is not an easy decision. But police is found in urban areas and most areas in Malawi are without police, about 80 percent. Would it make sense to fund police where 80 percent of Malawians are not benefiting or to fund essential services?” wondered Dzonzi.
Recently the Malawi Police have been involved in sporadic running battles with criminals carrying sophisticated weapons.
The police shot dead four criminals after exchanging fire for a series of times in the capital Lilongwe. The law enforcers were tipped of the ordeal by some people of a suspected plot for the thugs to steal at one filling station along the Mchinji Road.
Last week, parliamentarians complained about delays to allocate them fuel. Most hospitals are grounded with their ambulances stationary because there is no fuel.
It was reported that MPs’ fuel allocation for the month of June was slashed by half from K300, 000 to K150, 000. While government hospitals have also borne the full brunt with patients in some cases being advised to bring their own food and ambulances grounded because there is no fuel.
DPP spokesperson, Francis Kasaila, said last week that funding problems affected all government departments as the old financial year closed in June.