President’s office, Ministries seek forgiveness for billions worth of unauthorised US$ expenditure

By Leopold Munhende

GOVERNMENT has overspent by over US$10 billion since 2015 and is now seeking condonation of its over spending according to a recently gazetted Financial Adjustment Bill, has learnt.

According to the Bill which has to be presented to Parliament by Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube, ministries overspent by about US$25 million in 2015, US$1 billion in 2016, US$4 billion in 2017 and US$3 billion in 2018.

“We seek condonation for unauthorized expenditure incurred by line Ministries of US$25,305,741 for year ended 2015, US$1,530,890,050 for year ended 2016, US$4,562,064,123 for year ended 2017 and US$3,560,343,130 for year ended 2018,” reads the Bill.

Section 307 of the Constitution gives the Minister of Finance powers to cause a Bill condoning unauthorised expenditure to be introduced in the National Assembly no later than sixty days after the extent of the unauthorised expenditure has been established.

The bill refers to government overspending since 2015 but does not offer details of how the money was spent or accessed from treasury.

Major highlights of the Bill are that the Ministry of Agriculture has overspent some US$4 billion on its own while anti-graft body ZACC overspent or without authority managed to use just over a million US dollars last year.

Mnangagwa’s office overspent by US$168, 030, 527 last year and US$82, 187, 316 in the year Mugabe was deposed.

In 2016 Mugabe overspent by US$24, 273, 377 and US$9, 466, 217 in 2015.

The Bill indicates in 2016, the Agriculture Ministry overspent or without authority managed to use, US$975, 318, 652 a further US$2, 519, 932, 779 in 2017 and US$1, 711, 954, 858 in 2018.

The Defence Ministry has gobbled US$479, 885, 515 since 2016.