Molokele challenges Mthuli Ncube on Parliament budget
Hwange Central legislator Daniel Molokele has challenged Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube to ensure that Parliament is fully empowered through adequate budget allocations and disbursements.
Parliament is one of the three arms of the state, together with the judiciary and the executive.
However, it has often been complained that it is treated like a distant cousin by treasury when it comes to budget issues.
Besides being under-funded, Parliament does not receive its allocated funds on time from treasury.
This has often affected its oversight and legislative functions.
At one time, Parliamentarians were denied accommodation by hotels in Harare because the institution was owing huge sums of money.
In some instances, legislators have failed to travel on fact finding missions with Portfolio committee meetings due to resources.
Speaking in the National Assembly recently during debate on the Finance 2022 Bill, Honourable Molokele urged treasury to do better in 2022.
‘’Parliament of Zimbabwe is one of the three arms of the State, then there is Judiciary and the Executive but what we see in the 2022 Budget is a continuation of treating Parliament like a junior partner in the three arms of State.
‘’In 2021, Parliament received less than 35% of its due allocation by end of September. It has been crippled in terms of capacity and operation. The Minister must make sure that Parliament gets its allocation on time so that it can play its role as the third arm of State and a legislative arm of the State,’’ he said.
The Hwange legislator also bemoaned the delays in operationalisation of Constituency Information Centres and timely release of Constituency Development Fund (CDF).
‘’Also, we now know that Parliament has got issues such as CDF, where people in communities are expecting Members of Parliament to come up with development projects that are of high impact.
‘’To my surprise, most of the time the CDF that is allocated is very small and it cannot make any high-level impact in communities. Even that small amount is not coming on time.
‘’So, this year (2021) we are allocated $2 million each, but it came in the second half of the year, and some have not received their CDF allocation as of now. So, most of that allocation has already been affected by hyperinflation.
‘’For 2022, the Minister needs to make sure that it does not happen. Honourable MPs are operating offices, three years after the Minister promised that there will be allocation of funds to ensure that at least they have constituency level offices, support staff, allowances to do their work in constituencies, this has not yet happened.
‘’This is crippling the capacity of Parliament to work as the third arm of the State. For 2022, we are challenging the Minister to ensure that this comes to an end. Parliament must be fully empowered. Parliamentarians must be fully empowered to ensure that they play their role in a very effective way,’’ he said.