Source: Government spends millions on cars, thousands on health | The Financial Gazette June 15, 2017
PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe’s government spent nearly US$8 million on cars for ministers and government departments in the first three months of 2017, while committing a little over US$442 000 to public hospitals over the same period, Treasury data shows.
Mugabe’s government plans to spend US$17,76 million on condition of service vehicles for its top officials between 2017-2019, according to Treasury’s estimates of expenditure.
Critics accuse the government, which ran up a US$183,2 million budget deficit in the first quarter of this year, of prioritising senior officials’ perks at the expense of investment in infrastructure, education and public health.
They also slate Mugabe for under-funding public hospitals, while he routinely seeks treatment abroad.
The Treasury bulletin for the quarter shows that government collected US$869,2 million, but spent US$1,052 billion.
Of the total Q1 spend, US$879,1 million was recurrent expenditure, mostly salaries.
Government spent US$142 million on capital projects.
Of this, US$24 million went towards the strategic grain reserve, US$40 million to farm input schemes and US$17 million was spent on dams and rural boreholes.
A further US$15,3 million was spent on grading and re-gravelling roads.
Treasury revealed that government had paid US$5,42 million for ‘condition of service vehicles’ for ministers and senior government officials, and a further US$2,363 million for ‘vehicles for government departments.’
The same report shows that the government has spent US$400 000 on the “revitalisation of central hospitals” and US$42 939 for provincial and district hospitals.
The government allocated US$282 million to public health in this year’s budget, averaging US$22 per citizen. The health allocation lags budgetary commitments to the security ministries.