Mthuli Lies Exposed

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By Mary Taruvinga

FINANCE minister Mthuli Ncube has been exposed for lying that he set aside nearly 15% of the total 2022 budget for the health sector in compliance with the Abuja Declaration.

In his budget speech last month, Ncube said the health budget for 2022 is ZW$117,7 billion, which was the third largest allocation, after agriculture and primary and secondary education, which got ZW$124 billion each.

However, according to a report by the Zimbabwe Democracy Institute (ZDI), this was a bold lie because the health budget only accounts for 12, 7 percent of the total budget planned for next year.

ZDI said with the continued spread of Covid-19 in the country, expectations were high that the health sector would get adequate funding in line with the Abuja Declaration.

“Instead, the health sector allocation stood at 12.7 percent of the total ZWL$927.3 billion which is expected to be expended during the year 2022,” reads ZDI December report.

“However, in his 22 national budget speech, Minister Mthuli Ncube boldly lied to the nation that the 2022 national budget has allocated ZWL$117.7 billion to the Ministry of Health and Child Care which represents 14.9 percent of the budget.”

The fact of the matter is that the health ministry allocated ZWL$117.7 billion against a total budget of ZWL$927.3 billion. As the Minister of Finance, Professor Mthuli Ncube should have found out that the health sector’s allocation represents 12,7% of the total budget before making a presentation before the parliament,” said the organisation.

The health sector in Zimbabwe continues to receive funding that falls short of the universally accepted share of the country’s total budget.

The Zimbabwe 2022 national budget, despite coming against a background of the ravaging effects of Covid-19, failed to meet the Abuja Declaration of allocating 15% of the total budget to health.

Zimbabwe is a signatory to the Abuja Declaration which is a commitment that was made in 2001 by African heads of state to commit 15% of their yearly budgets to funding the health sector.