HomeNewsParly Speaker exposes Chinamasa

Parly Speaker exposes Chinamasa

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Speaker of the Zimbabwe National Assembly Jacob Mudenda yesterday ruled as null and void an attempt by the country’s Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa to smuggle in a supplementary budget as part of his Mid-Term Fiscal Policy Review Statement announced last Thursday.
REPORT BY VENERANDA LANGA

Mudenda said the procedure, which Chinamasa wanted to follow, was unconstitutional and he also removed from the Order Paper a motion by chairperson of the Finance and Economic Development Parliamentary Portfolio Committee David Chapfika to discuss the Mid-Term Fiscal Policy Review Statement in the National Assembly.

Said Mudenda: “On the 11th of September, the Minister of Finance and Economic Development presented a mid-year fiscal review statement pursuant to Section 7 of the Public Finance Management Act Chapter 22 (19), and more specifically section 7 (2) (a) of the Act, which states that the minister shall ensure that full and transparent accounts from time to time and not less than annually shall be made to Parliament indicating the current and projected state of the economy, public resources of Zimbabwe and the fiscal policy of government.

“The administration of Parliament enquired and was told by Treasury that the statement was not seeking supplementary appropriation. However, after presenting their statement Treasury then brought a draft departmental Finance No. 2 Bill
seeking Parliament approval of revenue measures announced,” he said.

Mudenda said Section 305 (5) of the Constitution stipulated that if money appropriated for a purpose was not sufficient, and if expenditure was needed for purposes of which no money had been appropriated, the Minister of Finance shall cause additional or supplementary estimates to be presented to the National Assembly, and if the House approved it, then Chinamasa should have brought a supplementary appropriation Bill providing the necessary resources of money to be issued to the Consolidated Revenue Fund.

“It is, therefore, apparent that the procedure used was not in accordance with the Constitution. The correct procedure is that the mid-year statement should have been presented on a motion that
leave be granted to make further provision for revenue and public funds to provide for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto, and then further debate on the statement will ensure. Accordingly, the chair rules that the procedure used was unconstitutional,” Mudenda said.

Meanwhile, the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare presented its first report for the half-year budget performance of the ministry which revealed government had not paid fees for the Basic Education Assistance Module (BEAM) and that children’s homes were in poor conditions due to underfunding.

Committee chairperson Gutu East MP Berita Chikwama (Zanu PF) said although the United Kingdom Department for International Development had met its obligations and paid
$20 million for needy primary school children under BEAM, government failed to pay its $5 million for the third term, and was in two-year fees arrears for secondary school children.

“Social Service did not receive adequate allocation from government and children in these institutions live under very poor conditions. Girls had to do without sanitary wear and toiletries,” Chikwama said.

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