Treasury yesterday disbursed the remaining K10 billion to cover the budget deficit Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) faced in the organisation of the June 23 fresh presidential election.
Ministry of Finance, Economic Planning and Development spokesperson Williams Banda confirmed in an interview yesterday the release of the funds.
“We are giving MEC priority and by today we have funded the remaining K10 billion,” he said.
The development followed a fresh appeal by MEC chairperson Chifundo Kachale yesterday who said the money was needed to pay for services.
During a status update last evening at the College of Medicine Sports Complex in Blantyre where the national tally centre is located, he said the electoral body was yet to confirm the disbursement of the funds.
Kachale had initially lamented the delay in release of the funds and said the electoral body would continue to push for the funds as Parliament already approved the allocation in the 2019/20 Mid-Year Budget Review in February.
Earlier yesterday, civil rights activist Moses Mkandawire, who is also executive director of Church and Society Programme of the CCAP Livingstonia Synod, said in a separate interview at the national tally centre yesterday that Treasury has no option, but to release the funds.
He argued that whatever Parliament approves becomes a law.
On his part, Sunduzwayo Madise, dean of the Faculty of Law at Chancellor College—a constituent college of the University of Malawi—said the money, approved by Parliament, should have been released long time back.
He warned that failure by responsible officers, including the Minister of Finance, to release the money will be in contempt of Parliament.
Madise, who was at the national tally centre in his capacity as commissioner of the Malawi Human Rights Commission, feared that without cash in hand, MEC would be getting most services on credit, which would be more expensive than paying cash.
He said in most cases service providers tend to charge higher where services are being offered on credit.
From the K29 billion fresh presidential election budget that Parliament allocated the electoral body received K9 billion and only got an additional K10 billion on June 19 after pushing for the same.