Norton legislator Temba Mliswa has told Parliament that it is pointless for Portfolio Committees to keep asking Finance Minister to increase budget allocations when he has no money.
Various Portfolio Committees in their reports to the 2023 budget have been asking for budget increases, arguing that what was allocated is not enough.
One such Committee is the Health and Child Care, which is hoping the allocation can reach at least 15% of the budget in line with the Abuja Declaration.
However, Mliswa said its pointless to ask for a top up as there is no money and the minister has allocated what he has.
‘’On a point of order, I think Hon. Members must understand that the Minister allocated what he had. For you to keep on saying he must add more and yet he is saying this is what he has does not make any sense. The way forward is to suggest domestic resource mobilisation where he can get the money from.
The budget was only 4.5 trillion dollars which the Minister said he has hence he allocated that accordingly. From where should he allocate more?
‘’We need to be very clear on that or else it will not make sense because everyone who stands up is going to say he must give more but the budget is only 4.5 trillion.
‘’This becomes a useless debate to be honest with you. How then can he get more money? This is where the emphasis should be,’’ he said.
His sentiments were supported by the Speaker of the National Assembly Jacob Mudenda.
‘’Correct, that is why I said the Hon. Member can address himself to the Minister’s statement in a similar manner as what Hon. Mliswa has said – where else can the Minister get the money from because he is constricted? That is why he gave us that budget of ZWL4.5 trillion,’’ he said.–