The defunct Ministry of Sports and Culture’s budget which was at K2 097 370 358 has been slashed to K844 731 122 following mid-year budget review.
But the sports department, which is now under Ministry of Labour, Youth, Sports and Manpower Development, can hope that the K1.2 billion chopped from the ministry will now be compensated for by the increase in the parent’s ministry.
Ministry of Labour, Youth, Sports and Manpower Development budget has been adjusted upwards from K9 781 388 336 to K10 818 432 113.
However, it is not automatic that sports will enjoy the increment since the new ministry has four departments—labour, sports, youth, manpower development—all eyeing the same K1 billion increase.
Director of sports Jameson Ndalama said his department will continue operating vote 180 for the defunct Ministry of Sports and Culture hence they are the ones hit by the funding cut.
“Government regulations do not allow vote change mid-way through the financial year. Despite being under Labour Ministry, we will still continue to operate using the funds from vote 180 until the next financial year,” he said.
In the 2016/17 National Budget, the Treasury slashed the Malawi National Council of Sports’ (MNCS) allocation to K1 billion from 2015/2016’s K1.3 billion.
Over 10 associations including the Football Association of Malawi (FAM) submitted extra budgets.
In its extra budget submitted to government through Sports Council, FAM requested K280 million for Flames assignments.
The assignments, according to FAM general secretary (GS) Alfred Gunda, include the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations opening home qualifier against the winner between Comoros and Mauritius, the African Nations Championship (Chan) preliminary round matches against Madagascar and the Cosafa Castle Cup.
From the amount, K105 million is the budget for the trip to Madagascar next month.
However, following the funding cut, Ndalama said the ministry would prioritise programmes to be implemented.
“When such a thing happens we normally look at all our programmes and decide which ones we can implement and which ones can be shelved for the next financial year,” he said.
The ministry’s spokesperson Simon Mbvundula said the funds from Labour Ministry were just reallocated.
“As you are aware, the Mid-Year Budget Review tries to scrutinise which areas need to be prioritised.
“But for the Sports Ministry since it was a standing ministry when the 2016/2017 budget came into effect, they are not affected by the labour vote 370 changes.”
In his mid-year budget review Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development Goodall Gondwe revealed that the budget has been revised downwards to K1.129 trillion from K1.149 trillion.
“Mr. Speaker, Sir, I wish to emphasise to the Honourable Members that our economy is still passing through turbulent times. I regret that we have not yet established a stable macroeconomic environment in which low inflation and interest rates prevail, and where the variability of the exchange rate is narrow and predictable,” Gondwe told Parliament.