By Anna Chibamu
LEGISLATORS have threatened to block Finance minister Mthuli Ncube 2022 national budget he presented last Thursday saying he completely disregarded their contributions during the consultation process.
The budget has to pass through both houses of parliament before it can be implemented.
Ncube last week unveiled a $927,3 Billion national budget but at a post-budget seminar held in Harare Monday, legislators took turns to blast him, alleging he did not take into consideration their input at the Victoria Falls pre-budget seminar.
They said the budget was full of surprises and omitted a lot of what they had discussed in the resort town.
Norton MP Temba Mliswa said: “As MPs, we can no longer be treated as kids anymore. You have made parliament useless. I am saying, this time we are going to dismiss this budget.”
“We cannot continue passing a budget when only 30% has been allocated. Abuja Declaration’s of 15% has been turned down. The agenda is simple, no-one is passing the budget until we understand where is the 70% change. Yakaenda kupi if it was available? Hatidi kutambiswa bhora risina mweya,” Mliswa said amid applause from both opposition and ruling MPs,” he said.
Zanu PF Chegutu East MP Webster Shamu felt the budget should be given in foreign currency.
“The budget for should not be given in local currency. The budget is going to be affected by foreign exchange rate fluctuations,” Shamu said.
Senator Chief Fortune Charumbira weighed in saying: “The issue of cell phone levy. We went to Victoria Falls to make our input into those areas that are important to the nation. We are then ambushed three weeks later by a levy we did not agree to. Then you ask, what were we doing in Victoria Falls? Why did the minister not tell us about cellphone levy. We should have debated on this issue. We need a practical budget review mechanism. As Parliament, we are just quiet whilst the minister decides everything for us.”
MDC-T deputy president Thokozani Khupe said: “Monies are not allocated on time to line ministries. MPs were turned away at a hotel at one point after treasury failed to pay for their accommodation on time. Some programmes were cancelled. It is not true that line ministries and Parliament are failing to utilise funds but the money was not allocated on time,” Khupe stated.
Zanu PF MP Levi Mayihlome urged Ncube to finance the security service sector warning that failure to do so would cause chaos.
“Let us fund the security sector. We are digging our own holes. A stitch in time saves nine,” Mayohlome said.
Senate deputy president and committees chairperson Mike Nyambuya bemoaned the decline in budget allocations to the health sector from 12,97 of total budget in 2021 to 12,2% in 2022.