BY RUTENDO MATANHIKE
The Information, Media and Broadcasting Services ministry has submitted bids for over $691 million in next year’s national budget, but Treasury has capped the budget at $87 million.
Presenting before the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee, Information secretary Ndavaningi Mangwana urged MPs to push for a raise in the allocation proposed by Treasury, arguing that the ministry’s operations would be curtailed by low funding.
“We submitted a budget of $691 361 339,66 which is inclusive of employment costs of about $200 000 000, the parastatals are bidding for $490 000 000, but we were given an expenditure target of $87 200 000. This figure will not be able to cover our requirements and we have been informed that we cannot go beyond that,” he said.
“My finance director has alluded that the cap will cover only 13% of the ministry’s needs.”
Mangwana said publicity of government development projects would be difficult with the budget cap given.
“We have an interesting scenario where everyone wants to be on television, newspaper and on any other platforms that shows the work they are doing,” he said.
“However, Parliament and government do not want to pay for that service and that is where we have a problem.”
Mangwana said previous allocations barely left the ministry in full operation.
“If we go back to the previous allocation of the $45 million that we were to get, $38 million was allocated for digitalisation. We had debts of about $4 million of unpaid services and taking that from the remainder which is $7 million, leaves about $3 million. What do you expect from a ministry without funding?” he asked.
Mberengwa South MP, Alum Mpofu (Zanu PF), who is the acting chairperson of the committee, urged the ministry to come up with convincing reasons as to why their bid would drive the country towards the attainment of vision 2030 in order to make sure the cap by Treasury is lifted.