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Ministry wants more from Treasury

by Staff reporter
24 Sep 2019 at 07:34hrs | Views
The Ministry of Defence and War Veterans Affairs and the Finance and Economic Development ministry are at variance over the former's 2020 Budget after it submitted a proposal of approximately $25 billion against Treasury's $1,6 billion.

This was said by the Defence and War Veterans Affairs secretary Ambassador Mark Grey Marongwe when he appeared before the Portfolio Committee on Defence, Home Affairs and Security Services yesterday.

Ambassador Marongwe said their submissions included $3,05 billion for administration at the ministry's headquarters, $18,9 billion for the Zimbabwe National Army and $2,76 billion for the Air Force of Zimbabwe, while the war veterans department would require $121,2 million.

"The total is approximately $25 billion for the year 2020 assuming things remain as they are today," he said.

"It is our hope that the committee exerts pressure on Treasury so that the Ministry of Defence's requirements are met. Treasury has proposed a total budget of $1,6 billion and of that $791 million will be for operations making it just three percent of what we have proposed."

Ambassador Marongwe said their budget allocation for this year was affected by the changes in the exchange rate of the local currency.

"The ministry was allocated $160,1 million in 2019 and when the allocation was made the exchange rate was 1:1. In February a floating exchange rate of the US dollar and the bond notes was adopted and trading started at US$1: $2,25 resulting in the our budget being eroded by the same rate," he said.

He added that these changes has made it difficult to procure goods and services for the ministry.

"In light of the foregoing, the ministry's budget was exhausted before mid-year and we have been surviving on unbudgeted funding from Treasury on a month-to-month basis," he added.

The chief director in the ministry responsible for war veterans' affairs, Major-General Richard Ruwodo (Retired) also said their monthly allowances had also been eroded in value by inflation.

"Our veterans of the struggle are living in a state of privation. Their monthly allowance is $340 and after deductions may take home $311, but if you take into account the fluctuations that have taken place in our currency and the exchange rate the money is inadequate for one to survive," he said.

Appearing before the same committee, acting Secretary in the Ministry of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage Mr Alois Matongo also bemoaned the inadequate budget target they had been given to work with.

Mr Matongo said they had been advised to work within a $438,6 million target against their requirements totalling $31,8 billion.

The ministry is responsible for the Zimbabwe Republic Police, the Department of Immigration, the Registrar-General's Office and the National Archives.

Source - the herald

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