ZW$7 billion does not show the importance of Parly

ZW$7 billion does not show the importance of Parly

The Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Budget and Finance says the ZW$7.186 billion that was allocated to Parliament in the 2021 budget is not enough to reflect the importance of the legislature.

Speaking in the National Assembly, committee chairperson Felix Mhona said the allocated funds are a far cry from what was asked.

“Allocation of ZW$7.186 billion (1.7% of the budget) from an initial bid of ZWL$14.7 billion is not in any way reflective of the important role Parliament plays as a custodian of the Constitution and as one of the three arms of the State.

“The allocation has been declining in real terms from US$124.6 million 2020 to US$88.7millionin 2021 using the official exchange rates, is a far cry from the requirements,” he said.

Honourable Mhona added that the budget of Parliament should not be negotiable if the institution is to play its roles effectively.

“As a custodian of constitutional democracy, Parliament needs non-negotiable allocation to carry out its mandate consistent with Section 325 (b) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe…

“The paltry allocation falls short of the minimum financial empowerment requirements for the institution to make robust legislation, effectively represent the populace and carry out vigilant oversight of the executive.

“In view of the above observations, the Committee seriously urges the Hon. Minister to effect the above-recommended adjustments on the Parliament of Zimbabwe Vote, taking a small fraction from unallocated reserve to enable the institution to effectively carry out its mandate as provided in the Constitution,” he said.

Section 325(b) of the constitution states that “The Government must ensure that adequate funds are provided to Parliament, to enable it and its Committees to meet whenever necessary”.

The 2021 Parliament of Zimbabwe budget allocation will cater to the generous sitting allowances and salary increase that the finance minister promised the legislator a few weeks ago.

Legislators have been complaining that they want the same package as ministers if they are to feel important.-

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