Mohadi tells Biti off
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THE police force is not going to bow to incessant calls by Treasury to remit all revenue collected through fines but will always retain a fee to cover operational costs as they are not getting adequate financial support from the State, a senior Cabinet minister has said.
In an interview on Thursday last week at Ntabazinduna Training Depot after a police pass-out parade, Co-Home Affairs Minister Kembo Mohadi said not all revenue collected by the police through various forms of fines was remitted to Treasury as they always kept a retention fee.
He said the idea of retaining part of the revenue was mooted after Finance Minister Tendai Biti had shown his determination to ground police operations by failing to give them enough financial resources to enable them to perform their duties effectively.
Minister Mohadi said as a result they had no option but to keep a retention fee that has always kept them going without necessarily bothering the Treasury that has shown its reluctance to finance police operations.
Mohadi said police were not anytime soon going to bow to calls by Minister Biti to remit all the money they raise through various forms of fines to the State.
Although he could not be drawn into giving figures or percentages of the fines they remit to Treasury, he said it was a lie for Finance Minister to suggest that the police were using all the money collected from fines.
"Yes, we are not remitting everything we collect from various fines to Treasury. We are always left with a retention allowance that we use for operational costs and other necessities. We have realised that without doing that we could have long been grounded if we were to wait and solely depend on him. The police's budgetary allocation is too small for the work expected of them and the retention fee though still not enough is playing a critical role in filling in the gap," said Mohadi.
He said the Finance Minister was determined to ground police operations by not adequately funding their operations hence the idea of not remitting all the revenue collected.
Minister Biti is on record accusing the police force of not giving Treasury all the revenue collected from fines, saying that had seen a decline in the amount of revenue generated by the State.
Minister Mohadi said he was aware of the amount of noise that Minister Biti was making over the issue but however defended the police force saying they could not be collecting fines and remitting all of them to Treasury where they were always getting paltry and operationally disabling amounts when other departments were getting better allocations.
"We cannot be collecting money for other departments while our operations suffer. It does not make sense. So we have decided to keep a retention fee that is still not enough to see us through our operational costs," he said.
He added that the police force had been labouring under a critical lack of essential resources as a result of a seemingly deliberate underfunding by the same Treasury that is complaining that the amount of remitted revenue is too small.
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