FOREIGN Affairs secretary Ambassador Joey Bimha has warned that government might fail to pay fees for its foreign diplomats’ children as the $63,8 million allocated to his ministry this year was inadequate.
BY SENIOR PARLIAMENTARY REPORTER
Bimha made the remarks during a post-budget meeting held by the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Foreign Affairs on Wednesday.
He said the ministry had an outstanding debt of $16,8 million which has to be paid from the $63,8 million Budget allocation. The ministry had requested for $89 million.
“The underfunding of the goods and services vote is going to reduce my ministry’s ability to provide training to our staff, holding of joint commissions and most important, provision of school fees for foreign service officers’ children attending school in Zimbabwe,” Bimha said.
“The ministry’s plant and machinery, office equipment and the general buildings outlook have suffered years of neglect due to lack of inadequate funding.”
Bimha said the ministry was the face of Zimbabwe and it was, therefore, paramount that it portrayed a good image to the international community.
“In the year that Zimbabwe will host the Sadc summit, the image of the ministry needs to be representative of who we are, not as a ministry, but as the country,” he said.
The country will, in August, host a Sadc summit meeting.