By Alois Vinga
THE Zimbabwean Coalition on Debt and Development (ZIMCODD) has slammed Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube for his quest to seek clemency from Parliament three years after spending an unexplained Z$107 billion.
The remarks come shortly after the under-fire Treasury boss was fired upon in parliament this week by lawmakers who accused him of implementing ‘complicated and inflexible’ policies that failed to transformed the lives of ordinary citizens.
In a statement on Friday, ZIMCODD expressed shock at Ncube’s conduct which they described as inconsistent with his promise to break with the previous government’s tradition of budget deficits.
This follows an attempt by the Ministry of Finance to seek pardon from Parliament for unauthorized expenditure of Z$107 billion in direct contradiction to Section 307 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe which provides that such a pardon must be requested within 60 days of an unauthorized expense.
“Ncube exceeded its budget by ZWL$100,690,788,418 in 2020 and ZWL$6,783,930,028 in 2019. This expenditure is of great concern as it is contrary to promises made by the current administration to break with past trends and the surplus declared in previous months.
“Thereafter, we are concerned about the implications of such mismanagement of public finances for the citizen in general and the impunity evidenced by the reports three years after the deadline recommended by law,” ZIMCODD said.
The coalition argued that the current toleration bill demonstrates the government’s mismanagement of public finances and the continuation of a trend of impunity seen under the previous administration.
Concerns have been raised that the last approval sought in 2019 for US$10 billion is still pending, but another has been submitted for consideration.
The coalition called on the government to provide specific details on how the money was used and whether there was value for money.
They argued that citizens were once again being wronged and pointed out that overspending of such proportions without considering recommended legal remedies for reporting showed a lack of respect for the voices and livelihoods of Zimbabweans in general.
“The Minister of Finance has declared a budget surplus for the past few years, which is now very questionable. Does it make sense to declare a surplus while spending at the same time?
“In the same vein, Minister Ncube has publicly stated that the ministry will not require additional budget even though it exceeds the amount.
“This lack of sincerity with public finances requires consequences,” added the coalition.