Malawi: Chimwendo Insists Chakwera Will Implement Passport Fee Reduction Pledge

Minister of Homeland Security Richard Chimwendo Banda has insisted that the election campaign promise of non-renewable passport at K14 000 will still be implemented but that government has delayed because the new administration found a passport deal worth $60 billion (K90 billion) which the DPP administration signed with a passport supplier; hence, is waiting for the expiry of the agreement.

Chimwendo Banda, Leader of the House, said this on a point of order in Parliament when DPP spokesperson on finance in Parliament Joseph Mwanamvekha in his official response to Minister of Finance Felix Mlusu's Mid-Year Budget Review Statement, highlighted a number of campaign promises he said were not delivered.

He mentioned the K15 000 monthly allowance for citizens aged 65 and above, non-renewable passport at K14 000, a duty-free week, mega farms in every constituency and one million jobs during the first 12 months.

But Chimwendo Banda said Malawi Congress Party (MCP) led government failing to slash fees for passports to K14,000 because the DPP administration entered into a deal with a company he did not disclose to supply 800,000 passports at $60 million.

This, according to Chimwendo Banda, commits the new administration to the deal and makes the implementation of the K14,000 passport fee extremely difficult under the current circumstances.

"There is an outstanding contract they signed before they went out of government... that does not mean we will not reduce the fees," he said.

Mwanamvekha, who was the last minister of Finance in the DPP administration booted out through the court-sanctioned fresh presidential election held on June 23 2020, said he was not aware of the said agreement and wondered why the new administration was not terminating the contract to deliver its promise.

More From: Nyasa Times

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