GWERU Urban MP Brian Dube (MDC Alliance) has criticised the $8 million allocation to the National Prosecuting Authority, saying it was not enough since the body was responsible for prosecuting high level criminals.
BY VENERANDA LANGA
Dube said this last week in the National Assembly while contributing to debate on the Finance No. 3 Bill to do with the 2019 budget.
The NPA was allocated only $8 million, while the Judicial Service Commission got $44 million.
“The net effect of this in terms of the justice delivery system is that we have seriously undermined the foundations and fundamentals of the rule of law in Zimbabwe, in the sense that we have financially subordinated one arm, which is equally important to the other,” Dube said.
“There is no justification practically, on why the NPA would be given this amount under the circumstances, especially taking into account what the minister has been preaching about – the issues of corruption and fears of financial leakages.
“They are supposed to be prosecuting high level criminals. This budget is unacceptable and must be reviewed upwards, because it is not consistent with the vision of government and is not enough.”
Dube also complained over the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc), which got another paltry $6 million yet it was supposed to fight corruption.
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“These are the people that are supposed to be investigating corruption, looting and investigating every challenge that we have faced financially in this country. One ordinary suspect may be facing a charge of about $50 million, and there is a risk if the whole institution (Zacc) is at a value of $6 million, yet they are supposed to recover billions.
“What it means practically is that you are giving a serious temptation to this commission (Zacc),” he said.
The other underfunded commission, the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission, only got a $3 million budget.
“With only $3 million, there is a risk that this commission, when it was established, was actually given an A grade, which means there was a belief from the international human rights community that they were meeting the minimum requirements of what a human rights body must have.
“But what has happened with this budget is that by 2020 when the second rating is done, they are going to be condemned,” Dube said.
On the Zimbabwe Gender Commission, which got a paltry $2 million, Dube said it confirmed that government was not committed to promoting gender issues.
He lauded the $5 million allocation to the Chiefs’ Council, but said they needed a fully-fledged secretariat to run their affairs.
“The Chiefs’ Council must not be controlled by the Ministry of Local Government, and the only way they are controlled is through resources,” he said.