LILONGWE, May 19 (Xinhua) -- At least 31.5 billion Malawi Kwacha (about 42.5 million U.S. dollars) has been set aside for Malawi's 2019 tripartite elections from country's 2018/2019 National Budget of 1.5 trillion Malawi Kwacha.
Presenting the proposed budget to Members of Parliament, in the country's capital Lilongwe Friday, Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development, Goodall Gondwe explained that the 31.5 billion Malawi Kwacha would among others, cover voter registration and verification, education and outreach, election materials, vehicles and polling stations.
"This represents the total budget for the general elections the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) will require," explained Gondwe who further disclosed that Malawi would independently fund its entire election process without donor support as had been the case previously.
During the tripartite elections slated for May 2019, Malawians are expected to elect a President, Members of Parliament and Ward Councillors.
Gondwe also disclosed that the government had set aside funds to cater to the recruitment of 10,500 primary school teachers, 500 secondary school teachers, and 1,000 medical personnel, a development which would address the country's public outcry on poor service delivery in education and health sectors.
"Starting from this year, teachers and other personnel will be recruited soon after their graduation. The practice that started in 2013 of recruiting teachers one year after graduation will no longer be necessary," he explained.
The budget has also projected wages and salaries at 392 billion Malawi Kwacha, which has seen salaries for the country's junior civil servants go up by 20 percent with senior civil servants getting a 10 percent pay hike.
Meanwhile, the parliamentarians will, for the next two weeks, regroup into clusters where they will scrutinize the budgetary allocations, after which the proposed budget will be debated by vote.