Mthuli Ncube Under Fire For Failure To Meet Ministries’ Budget Allocations

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By Anna Chibamu

GOVERNMENT ministries have accused Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube of failing to meet their national budgetary needs forcing them to abandon targeted projects.

This one of the many issues raised raised against the Treasury by state departments during the ongoing 2021 pre-budget consultations in Parliament.

Most ministries complained the ceiling amounts imposed on them by Ncube on the operational annual budgets, had had a negative impact on their performances.

Foreign ministry secretary, James Manzou Wednesday reported his ministry requested a budget of $51.6 billion for the proposed 2021 budget, but the Finance ministry advised them they would only receive a maximum of $5.28 billion.

Manzou was appearing before the Kindness Paradza-chaired Foreign Affairs Parliamentary Committee, where he told the lawmakers  work programmes in his ministry were seriously underfunded.

“The budget ceiling should match the ideal budget in order to avoid arrears and the consequent litigations and evictions,” he said.

Manzou said his ministry was carrying out a costly renovations at residences and offices at most posts where Zimbabwe has diplomatic missions.

Ministry of Health secretary Jasper Chimedza shared the same sentiments while presenting his ministry’s priorities for the proposed 2021 national budget to the Health Portfolio Committee chaired by Ruth Labode.

Out of $90.6 billion requested for the 2021 financial year, the ministry will only be allocated less than half of it – $43.2 billion and according to Chimedza, the amount is too little to cater for the ministry’s various critical needs.

The Home Affairs ministry said it was still waiting for its allocation of over $125 million from the Treasury it was allocated in the 2020 budget.

Secretary Aaron Nhepera stated the funds had not been transferred to the ministry despite numerous appeals.

Budget and Finance Parliamentary portfolio committee chairperson Felix Mhona Monday took senior finance ministry officials to task accusing them of being non-compliant.

“The budget consultations’ process is just a formality purporting that Parliament does administer the pace. You proffer budgets and when it comes to actual funding there is no money. Everyone queues at the Accountant General’s office,” Mhona said.