Malawi political parties represented in Parliament have called on the Speaker and the President to convene the august House to conclude discussions on the cashgate and review the national budget before Parliament is dissolved on March 20.
The National Assembly stands dissolved on March 20 in the fifth year after its election as per the Constitution.
The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of Parliament proposed that the House should meet in January to present a report on how government institutions have responded to their recommendations on looting of public resources at Capital Hill.
In an interview on Monday, UDF chief whip in Parliament Clement Chiwaya expressed concern that there is no timetable on the meeting of Parliament to adopt the PAC report and discuss the budget review.
“We are worried about what is going on. This is a setback to all of us. We cannot trivialise the cashgate or the budget review,” said Chiwaya.
DPP chief whip Henry Mussa stated that Parliament decided to have an extraordinary meeting in January to adopt the PAC report, but the meeting is yet to take place.
“We don’t know if this sitting will take place. Another matter of concern is the budget review. By now we should have been communicated to on the timetable, but there is no information. We are calling upon the Speaker and the President to convene Parliament to discuss the report on cashgate. We need to dispose of this matter,” said Mussa.
MCP chief whip Joseph Njobvuyalema explained that according to the Parliament calendar, the budget review session should start on 11th February.
“We have met in February all the time to review the national budget. It is only logical for Parliament to meet before it is dissolved in March; otherwise, we will leave many issues unresolved.
“By now, we should have heard something from the Business Committee of Parliament. But there is no official information. It is a cause of concern,” observed Njobvuyalema.
Parliament spokesperson Leonard Mengezi said only Speaker, Henry Chimunthu Banda would be in a better position to comment whether he has consulted President Joyce Banda.
He agreed with chief whips The Nation spoke to that normally Parliament meets in February for the midterm budget review.
“But we have not been informed yet whether Parliament will meet or not,” he said.
President Banda special adviser on politics and communication Elias Wakuda Kamanga said the issue of convening Parliament is the domain of the Speaker; hence, his office cannot comment.