By Alois Vinga
THE Zimbabwe Coalition on Debt and Development (ZIMCODD) has slammed Finance Minister, Mthuli Ncube for his pursuit to get Parliament’s pardon three years after over spending an unexplained ZW$107 billion.
The remarks come shortly after the under-fire treasury boss was hauled over hot coals in parliament this week by parliamentarians who accused him of implementing “complicated and unyielding” policies which have not transformed the lives of ordinary citizens.
In a statement Friday, ZIMCODD expressed shock over Ncube’s conduct which they described as inconsistent with the promise he made to break from the past government’s tradition of budget deficits.
This follows a bid by the Finance Ministry to secure Parliament’s pardon over unauthorised ZW$107 billion expenditure in direct contradiction of Section 307 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe which provides that such pardon must be sought within 60 days after unauthorised expenditure.
“Ncube went over budget by ZWL$100,690,788,418 in 2020 and ZWL$6,783,930,028 in 2019. This expenditure is of grave concern as it is contrary to the promises made by the present administration to break away from trends of the past and the surplus declared in previous months.
“Following, we are concerned by the implications of such poor public finance management to the general citizen and the impunity shown in reporting three years after the recommended time at law,” said ZIMCODD.
The coalition argued that the present Condonation Bill is a testament to the government’s poor public finance management and continuation of a trend of impunity seen in the previous administration.
Concerns were raised that the last condonation sought in 2019 for US$10 billion is still pending yet another one has been submitted for consideration.
The coalition called on the government to provide the granular details of how the money was used and if there was any value for money.
They argued that citizens were prejudiced yet again and stressed that overspending of such proportions without regard to the recommended legal remedies on reporting shows a lack of respect for the voices and livelihoods of Zimbabweans at large.
“The Finance Minister has declared a budget surplus over the past few years which is now very questionable. Is it logical to state a surplus whilst overspending at the same time?
“In the same light, Minister Ncube publicly stated that the ministry will not require a supplementary budget at the same time they were overspending the amount.
“This insincerity with public finances requires consequence,” the coalition added.