Banda is scheduled to open Parliamentâ€™s budget meeting on Friday, May 18, amidst economic crisis, high cost of living and political tensions mainly attributed to poor governance by her predecessor late Bingu wa Mutharika.
“We look forward to doing away with the zero-deficit budget that created a huge burden on the people of Malawi. As a party, we were against it and we hope the new administration will take that into consideration,” Malawi Congress Party (MCP) finance spokesperson Joseph Njobvuyalema said on Thursday.
Njobvuyalema said as a chief whip they are waiting for a business committee meeting on arrangements after the shift of power while the former ruling Democratic Progressive Party says it expects changes.
“We expect the sitting plan to change depending on the preference of the new government and appointments. It is too early to say what we will do, but as a party, we look forward to the budget,” Leader of the House George Chaponda said.
But Chapondaâ€™s two backbenchers Dowa East MP Bauleni Manna and Nsanje Lalanje MP Sam Ganda said in a separate interview that they were part of a group of 86 DPP parliamentarians who declared their support for President Banda in Parliament.
“This time we will listen to the voices of Malawians,” said Manna on Thursday.
United Democratic Front (UDF) parliamentary leader Ibrahim Matola said the party will comment later, but former Maravi Peopleâ€™s Party president and Salima South MP Uladi Mussa said it was high time the House served the interests of all Malawians.
“I expect to see the fertiliser subsidy in the next budget, but under improved administration. Low taxes, removal of the enacted bad laws and restoration of our system of democracy that all three branches should be functional and independent,” said Mussa.
Centre for the Development of the People executive director Gift Trapence, who was among the key players in the July 20 demonstration, said they were giving the new administration a chance to sort out other issues raised in the petition.
Mwasibale Motors director Solomon Nkhonjera said in January that his business was on the verge of collapse due to the poor economic situation, said the President should bring fresh ideas into government.
“So far, we know she is working on forex and fuel shortages which are crucial to our small businesses. But she should not appoint people who were part of the systems that failed Malawians,” said Nkhonjera.
The budget meeting will run for six weeks.