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Mr Gwanda Chakuamba (2003)

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Monday, April 23, 2007

Finance Minister Goodall Gondwe bemoans Malawi politics
12:37:47 - 23 April 2007

FINANCE Minister Goodall Gondwe on Saturday complained about the way some politicians press for their own partisan agendas at the expense of the majority poor.
Speaking during a pre-budget consultative meeting in Mzuzu, Gondwe said Malawi’s politics needed to be transformed from “finishing one another to a game of compromises”.
“The wrong thing we did during independence time was that we translated politics as ‘ndale’, hence the reasoning is that it is a game of finishing one another. Politics must be a game of compromises and finding a common denominator in the interest of all Malawians,” said Gondwe.
Gondwe also shared concerns with some delegates that it was ironic that Parliament shot down the mid term budget he recently presented in the House.
“It would be difficult for honest people like [Raspicious] Dzanjalimodzi, Friday Jumbe and others to stand up and say they rejected the budget because I did not answer questions on how we spent our money vote by vote. The real reason as I have said before was merely politics after someone had allegedly made a derogatory remark on the Leader of Opposition,” said Gondwe.
The finance minister said all the reasons advanced by the opposition to justify the mid term budget rejection were a mere scapegoat.
Gondwe said the opposition benches had over seven people who had been finance ministers before and all knew the requirements of the Public Finance (Management) Act.
The finance minister urged parliamentarians and all policy makers to first think of Malawi as a nation before making decisions that would affect poor people.
“It is sad that at this age, some people in localities around Limbe are sharing drinking water with dogs as they cannot access clean and potable water. The same is happening in Chilinde in Lilongwe. Poor people are in dire need of water and yet these are the people who would have benefited if the budget was passed,” said Gondwe asking all Malawians to be patriotic.
Gondwe, however, said he was optimistic that since the MPs represent poor people in their constituencies, they would reflect on the impact of budget rejection and support him when he presents another one.
During the pre-budget meeting, many delegates commended government for attaining debt relief.
However, the delegates called for government to ensure that the hard-earned tax money was spent prudently on projects that benefit the masses.
Gondwe said it was important for Malawi not to be complacent about the debt relief but work extra-harder to continue enjoying donor confidence.

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