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PAC to summon MACRA board

Parliament is planning to summon the Malawi Communication Regulatory Authority (MACRA) board over the abuse of public funds.

The MACRA board spent K46 million in allowances during a 2-week governance training in Dubai.

This revelation has angered various stakeholders who expected the Tonse administration to exercise financial prudence in public expenditure.

Such extravagant spending, was prevalent in previous administrations and the Tonse government promised to change the narrative.

The Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) has also condemned the conduct of the MACRA board and demands its dissolution.

It also comes as Malawians are pushing MACRA to order telecom operators to reduce internet data tariffs in the #DataMustFall campaign.

Speaking to Capital FM, HRDC National Coordinator Luke Tembo has described the board’s conduct as a total departure from cleaning the rubble agenda.

“The action displayed by MACRA is against the very principles and ideologies of the Tonse Alliance. They came with a promise of financial prudence and financial management, but what the board of MACRA has done is the direct opposite,” lamented Tembo

Tembo argued that they have demonstrated gross negligence and incompetence at a time Malawi’s economy is bleeding.

Chairperson of the parliamentary Public Accounts Committee (PAC) Shadreck Namalomba could not hide his frustration, describing the revelation as unfortunate.

“I have learned with great shock, great shock in the sense that we are struggling with COVID, we do not have money, government is failing to raise enough taxes to pay for essential goods and services, we are borrowing from the market to meet recurring expenditures, now here we are in a parasternal, a government company we seem not to resonate with the challenges that we have,”Namalomba stressed.

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Namalomba has told Capital FM that this is worrisome, and they are going to summon the board and management to explain themselves.

“We believe it is not only MACRA, there are also other boards that are into of the same abuse of resources,” he added.

Namalomba has further disclosed that PAC will institute investigations into the matter concerning MACRA as well as other parastatals.

While all this is happening, the governments is faced with a huge task of sourcing funds worth over K800 billion, to fill the deficit in the proposed 2020/21 national budget.

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