By Nomalanga Moyo
SW Radio Africa
16 June 2014
President Robert Mugabe has signed into law the Financial Adjustments Bill thereby transferring unauthorised expenditure from 2013 to the current budget.
According to the Daily News, the government overran the 2013 budget by $400 million with the biggest spender, the Justice Ministry, accounting for at least $143 million of this amount.
The Agriculture Ministry over-ran its allocation by $82 million, the Home Affairs Ministry spent an extra $80 million, while Mugabe’s office gobbled up an extra $31 million.
Harare-based economist Vince Musewe castigated the government for legitimising fiscal indiscipline and for being a liability on Zimbabwean taxpayers.
“A government overspends because those authorised to spend money are doing so outside the parameters of the previous year’s budget. This really ridicules the whole point of budgeting in the first place,” Musewe said.
The move also means Minister Patrick Chinamasa, who has been saying Treasury is skint, has to accommodate this unauthorised spending in the current budget.
“This again makes this year’s budget meaningless and to add insult to injury as Zimbabweans are never told what the money was spent on.
“What we know for sure however is that the funds were not spent on either paying civil servants’ salaries, or on school fees for vulnerable children, or reviving the economy. All this has been offloaded on to western donors.
“This is a reflection of the culture of incompetence and unaccountability of this government which can’t even stick to the budget approved by its parliament,” Musewe added.
In the current budget Mugabe’s office received $200 million which many Zimbabweans feel the President spends on his numerous travels abroad while the country collapses.
“This is a huge allocation for an office that is not delivering either on effective political leadership or in terms of ensuring that people have jobs,” Musewe told SW Radio Africa on the Zim We Want programme.