Why do we waste time budgeting when ministries are overspending?

Why do we waste time budgeting when ministries are overspending?
Why do we waste time budgeting when ministries are overspending?

Why do we waste time budgeting when ministries are overspending?

Harare North legislator Norman Markham says there is no point for Parliament to sit and discuss budget allocations when government institutions go on to overspend without authority.

Most government institutions including the ministry of finance have been called out by the auditor general on several occasions for spending more than what would have been allocated.

According to the Zimbabwe constitution, only Parliament can authorise the use of money that is in the Consolidated Revenue Fund.

In instances where the government overspends, it must come to Parliament to explain the reasons and ask for condonation.

However, the government has been overspending deliberately shunning Parliament.

Speaking during the debate of the Finance 2022 Bill, Honourable Markham said there is no point for Parliament to sit down and discuss what will not be followed.

‘’My main concern is the issue of oversight Madam Speaker.  As Parliament, we are supposed to have an oversight on the Budget and the finances of the country. My issue is, if we look at the Budget allocations, up to 9 months, agriculture has spent 171%, finance 135%, energy 131% for example.  These are repetitive offenders.

‘’It is not the first Budget that these people have spent more than they were allocated without the Minister either advising us or bringing it to us.

‘’…My issue is, not one of these ministries has changed in the last three years as being – what I call repetitive offenders for overspending.

‘’My question is what is the point of us all sitting here and arguing about allocations of the budget as part of our oversight if it is not followed anyway?

Honourable Markham said it is understandable for Ministries such as the one for agriculture which can be affected by the weather but was quick to add that even in that case there is no harm in informing Parliament about the changes.

‘’I do understand particularly with Ministries like Agriculture that there are changes depending on seasons but why are we not informed before?  Sadly, we cannot have oversight after the event.  That is why the various acts give us 60 days to correct the wrongdoing and in many cases, it is not corrected,’’ he said.

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