Close irrelevant embassies -Zimbabwe government t told

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THE Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Foreign Affairs has recommended that government should do away with some embassies irrelevant to the economic and political development of the country to cut down on the ministry’s budgetary costs.

BY SENIOR PARLIAMENTARY REPORTER

Committee chair Enock Porusingazi said the committee wanted a leaner foreign service as opposed to the 47 representative offices across the world.

Porusingazi was speaking while presenting a post-budget report by the committee in the National Assembly where the committee disclosed that the ministry was saddled with a $13 million debt.

The country has 40 embassies and five consulates.

“The committee recommends a leaner foreign service which is fully funded as the major challenges at embassies are that most properties are rented and rentals are exorbitant and unsustainable in the long term,” Porusingazi said.

“There is need for strategic realignment of Zimbabwe’s embassies abroad looking at the economic and political interests of the country. Motor vehicles used in most embassies are now high maintenance due to aging, with the embassy in France being the most notable example which is using a vehicle purchased in 1996.”

In an unrelated matter, Local Government, Rural and Urban Development Portfolio Committee chaired by Irene Zindi also urged local authorities should source for other revenue generating ventures instead of waiting for budgetary allocations.

Local Authorities were only given $12 million against the $88 million allocated to the whole ministry. Under the new Constitution local authorities were supposed to get $206 million as they were entitled to 5% of the budget.

“The committee observed that while councils were complaining about lack of funds they were ignoring potential sources of revenue generation such as hut, herd, dog, bicycle and land taxes, in addition to the development levy. The committee wonders why councils cannot profitably run beer halls, yet the private players who have taken over are making money out of them,” Zindi said.

Meanwhile, chairperson of the portfolio committee on information communication technology Nelson Chamisa also said the $11,5 million allocated to the ministry was not enough to enable the department to meet some of its objectives such as research on ICTs to narrow the technological gap between rural and urban populations.

He said only $500 000 was allocated towards laptops for legislators and the money was only enough for 166 of them.

19 COMMENTS

  1. I suggest chairperson Nelson Chamisa goes back and does the maths on the laptops as according to his figures each laptop will cost over $3000.00. I am sure he could buy at least 600 laptops for that price.

    • There are laptops that cost that much, by the way. However, i suspect this figure is quoted, yet cheaper ones are bought and the difference, we all know what happens to it.

  2. i bought my laptop for $300 2 years ago and it works just fine . considering that we have dinosaurs and dodos for MPs ,my question is ,do they even know how to use them or do the secretaries job descriptions include SWITCHING ON OF CHEFS PC ?
    our honorable MP should think first before he opens his mouth or am i sensing corruption? maybe someone WON a tender to supply laptops at $3000 a piece

  3. Dinosaurs and Dodos kkkkkkkk…..!,but seriously these guys are just taking us for granted hanty,honestly with the current situation we are in you want to spend $3000/ laptop,what is that!!zvimwe nyaraiwo mhani

  4. Foe MPs, a $300-$500 i3 laptop is more than enough. The price quoted by Chamisa of $3000 is for powerful gaming high end laptops like the AlienWare and high end MACs…..thats how money leaks in government… over quoting …

  5. Hut, bicycle etc taxes? We fought against this during the liberation struggle and now we are exploiting the same people again. Why??? Pasi nazvo izvi

  6. If my memory still serves me very well i think hut and dog tax are some of the causes of First Chimurenga. People resisted to pay these taxes and took up weapons against the white minority government. Now after the so-called independence the taxes are still there. Are we colonising ourselves? I heard that comrades used to sing kuti Mombe yangu yandakatenga ndega ndonzi bhadhara mutero zvinogumbura fani but now cattle tax is still there and even more expensive. So we are still under colonial government only what changed is the skin of the colonisers.

  7. U are spoton what changed is the colour of the skin,but i think there must be a curse over this nation somewer somehow

  8. Let us not throw away the baby with the bath water. When the Rhodesians collected taxes for cattle, the rural dips and veterinary services worked like clock work. We used to pay a nominal fee for clinic and hospital treatment, enter “free health” by the majority rule government and our hospitals went to pot! Taxes are painful to pay now because we don’t see the benefit as the funds are misappropriated. Ask motorists who pay road tax only to drive on roads which have not seen repair works for years.

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