MDC Renewal Team president Sekai Holland has questioned government’s commitment to issues on national healing following the allocation of a paltry $109 000 to the National Peace and Reconciliation ministry headed by Second Vice-President Phelekezela Mphoko.
SENIOR PARLIAMENTARY REPORTER
Holland, who is Harare Metropolitan Senator and former National Healing and Reconciliation co-minister, told Senate last Friday that it was “a joke” to have Mphoko superintend over an inadequately funded ministry.
“I am in a state of shock that $109 000 only was allocated to the National Healing, Peace and Reconciliation portfolio,” Holland said.
“Is it a joke that we have a whole VP Mphoko given the National Peace and Reconciliation portfolio — and how is he going to work with that kind of amount?” she queried.
Holland added: “We do not want to be upset during the festive season.”
However, Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa defended the allocation saying all line ministries had had budget cuts.
“You know my predicament that at the moment that I run a cash budget because it is a dollarised budget. We do not have any monetary policy which will assist us to meet the needs of the country through printing money. We do not print money since the currency is not ours, and I do not even disburse until I have received money,” Chinamasa said.
The National Peace and Reconciliation portfolio was established during the government of national unity entered into by Zanu PF, MDC-T and MDC led by Welshman Ncube.
The late Vice-President John Nkomo was the first co-minister of the portfolio together with Holland representing MDC-T and Moses Mzila-Ndlovu (MDC).
Part of the mandate of the portfolio was to ensure equal treatment of all regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, place of origin, ensure equal and fair development of all regions, correcting historical imbalances, setting up of mechanisms to achieve national healing, cohesion and unity in respect of victims of pre and post-independence political conflicts, creating an environment of tolerance among Zimbabweans and formulating policies and measures to attract the return of Zimbabweans in the Diaspora.