GOVERNMENT has allocated an additional $125,5 million to chapter 12 institutions pivotal in maintaining the rule of law, peace and good governance in the country.
BY VENERANDA LANGA
These include the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec), Zimbabwe Gender Commission (ZGC), Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission (ZHRC), Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc), Zimbabwe Judiciary Services Commission (ZJSC) and the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission (NPRC).
In the initial 2019 budget, Finance minister Mthuli Ncube had allocated $76,7 million to the institutions which was viewed as grossly inadequate to fund their operational expenses.
“The 2019 budget recognised the importance of transforming all governance systems which include, rule of law, freedoms of expression and association, respect for human and property rights, and zero tolerance to corruption, among others,” Ncube said last Thursday, while presenting the 2019 supplementary budget.
“Accordingly, the 2019 budget allocated $96,7 million to institutions mandated to promoting good governance targeting capacitation of those constitutional institutions mandated to promote democratic principles, which include Zec, ZGC, ZHRC, Zacc, ZJC and the NPRC,” he said.
Ncube added: “The supplementary budget, therefore, proposes to make additional allocations of $125,5 million to the above institutions for purposes of enhancing their capacity in promoting good governance practices.”
Article 15 (1) of ACDEG stipulates that State parties shall establish public institutions that promote and support democracy and constitutional order and in 15 (2), that the State parties shall ensure that the independence or autonomy of the said institutions is guaranteed by the Constitution, as well as 15(4) that State parties shall provide the democratic institutions such as independent commissions with resources to perform their assigned missions effectively and efficiently.
Legal expert Wilbert Mandinde said six years after the Constitution was promulgated it is imperative for Zimbabwe to ensure that independent commissions are well funded in order for them to effectively perform their mandate.
“For instance, Zacc must be well funded so that they investigate corruption cases effectively. Corruption affects all facets of the economy and there is need for the commission to be well resourced in order to fight the high profile cases of corruption affecting the country,” Mandinde said.
“There are also serious issues about human rights abuses that the ZHRC needs to attend to, but they need sufficient funding to reach out to all corners of the country. For example, the August 1, 2018 violence and the January 6, 2019 violence were investigated by (former South Africa President Kgalema) Motlanthe (led) commission (of inquiry) and the ZHRC made its recommendations, but there is need for the commission to be well-resourced in order to follow up on implementation,” he said.
Elections Resources Centre director Tawanda Chimhini said Zec needs to enhance the credibility of elections in the country through being adequately funded.