Thyolo Thava Member of Parliament Lifred Nawena has asked Malawi Government to renegotiate the contract for uranium mining investment at Kayelekera.
Nawena believes Malawi should not accept Paladinâ€™s argument that the contract cannot be renegotiated.
Nawena said this on Wednesday at a Malawi Health Equity Network (Mhen) meeting on the dissemination of details of the assessment of the performance of the health sector budget in the current 2012/13 fiscal year.
â€œItâ€™s high time Malawians woke up. We are sleeping too much. We have all closed our eyes on Kayelekera. Kayelekera uranium mine is supposed to be a national asset. Why are we not interested in Kayelekera?
â€œWho said once a contract is signed it cannot be reviewed. When you go into a contract, you ought to have freedom to revisit it when you discover that some things are not good. Kayelekera could easily change the face of this country,â€ said Nawena.
Mhen executive director Martha Kwataine asked MPs to lobby for increased allocation to the health sector during the forthcoming 2012/13 national budget review meeting, saying some health facilities in the country have already finished their annual allocations five months into the fiscal year.
Nawena said it was difficult for MPs to significantly influence figures in the national budget because they are not given adequate time to scrutinise the document.
Secretary to Treasury Randson Mwadiwa asked the MPs to debate whether it is still necessary for government to continue offering free social services in sectors such as health. He argued it is not sustainable to continue overtaxing the countryâ€™s middle class to subsidise provision of social services.
â€œMalawi suffers from the sin of subsidies. If we were a rich country, that would not have been a problem. We have a whole university that is subsidised.
â€œIt takes about K60 billion just to provide free fertiliser. Some advocates say we should expand the cash transfer and school feeding programmes.
â€œDo we still want our health system to be free just because there are some people who cannot afford? If a person in the village can afford to pay a lot of money to a witch doctor, how can they fail to pay K500 for health service at the hospital?â€ said Mwadiwa.
Paladin has argued that Malawi cannot currently renegotiate the mining deal, saying doing so would be breaching the provisions of the agreement.