Biti tears into Ncube’s ‘lipstick and mascara’ mid-term budget - Zimbabwe Situation

Biti tears into Ncube’s ‘lipstick and mascara’ mid-term budget

Source: Biti tears into Ncube’s ‘lipstick and mascara’ mid-term budget – NewsDay Zimbabwe August 7, 2019

BY VENERANDA LANGA

HARARE East MP Tendai Biti yesterday tore into Finance minister Mthuli Ncube’s 2019 supplementary budget, describing it as a big fraud and misrepresentation of the true state of the economy.

He said this during debate on the budget in the National Assembly, where he chided Ncube for skirting the inflation figures because they were embarrassing.

Biti also said people in Zimbabwe were wallowing in poverty to the extent that 79% are surviving on US$0,35 cents per day.

“The minister says the budget will be increased by $10 billion when, in fact, it speaks of anticipated revenue of $14 billion and an anticipated expenditure of $18 billion,” he said.

“In 2019, we approved a budget of US$6 billion and now, the supplementary budget is $14 billion and yet the black market rate is at 1:10 ratio, and what this actually means is that you have reduced the budget from US$6 billion to US$1,4 billion.”

Biti also blasted Ncube for producing the supplementary budget without a growth rate figure.

“The much-hyped myth about the budget surplus is a misnomer because you cannot boast of a surplus using cash accounting, and when ministries are struggling in debt with no drugs and textbooks. We cannot talk of a surplus when there is a deficit of $4 billion, which is 10% of the total budget,” he said.

Biti described the budget as a smokescreen marinated with language, and as a “lipstick and mascara” budget.

“Ncube has unlawfully converted US$9 billion Treasury Bills (TBs) to $9 billion in breach of section 71 of the Constitution because TBs were never indexed in the Zimbabwe dollar. Ncube does not have power to suppress inflation figures or issue a directive to ZimStats (Zimbabwe National Statistical Agency) that they must suspend publishing inflation figures,” Biti said.

Mhona criticised Ncube’s underfunding of Parliament, saying the institution had accumulated many debts, with MPs being chucked out of hotels over unpaid bills.

Norton MP Temba Mliswa (independent) then said the allocation for MPs vehicles was revised from $21 million to $81 million and given the interbank exchange rate of 1:9, meaning that MPs will get $25 000 each, “which is too little”.

Mliswa said the money paid to MPs as hotel bills must be given to them so they manage for themselves where they will stay.

Buhera South MP Joseph Chinotimba (Zanu PF) said war veterans must be allowed to import vehicles duty-free.

Meanwhile, leader of the MDC in the National Assembly, Thabitha Khumalo, claimed that her party did not walk out of Ncube’s mid-term supplementary budget presentation last week, but were locked out as they were praying in the government cause room to break their party’s week-long fast.

She said after their prayer session, they went to the House for the budget 20 minutes late only to find that the Speaker of the National Assembly Jacob Mudenda had instructed Parliament police to cordon off the House and bar the opposition MPs.

COMMENTS

WORDPRESS: 4
  • comment-avatar
    Grabmore 2 weeks ago

    Mliswa (independent) then said the allocation for MPs vehicles was revised from $21 million to $81 million and given the interbank exchange rate of 1:9, meaning that MPs will get $25 000 each, “which is too little”.

    Mliswa said the money paid to MPs as hotel bills must be given to them

    Imagine

  • comment-avatar
    Nyoni 2 weeks ago

    ZANUPF “AKA” RHODESIAN FRONT PARTY.

  • comment-avatar

    Simply withholding the inflation figures in in it’s self dangerous and decisive. Because whether this true figure is good, bad or indifferent the moment you do not reveal; it is BAD. No matter whether this is a company, a state, or whatever. I would say that is this case the figures are diabolical and this is a crude attempt to make things smell of roses then the reality is otherwise. Unfortunately for the inhabitants of Zim, there will arrive a state of affairs similar to the last zeros joke, that recovery becomes an impossibly. I would say really you are in that zone now.

  • comment-avatar
    Kutambura Hakuperi 2 weeks ago

    Zimbabwe anti-corruption commission unearthed Massive corruption in departments of nssa, Zinara, agriculture, zesa, railway, zrp, health, education, aviation, oil , RBZ, mining, president’s office, local government authorities, social welfare, zimra, tourism, water, communication, cyclone idai, old zacc, defense and ZIMDEF to name a few. Perpetrators being government top officials. As if it’s not enough come austerity measures to take away from the already deprived ordinary workers and people to finance the companies which benefitted from corruption because they are owned in partnership with these top officials. Why enforcing austerity so hurting but not enforcing recovery of lost billions of USD under corrupt circumstances? The recent arrest of the minister should have shaken the world and everything taking a step ahead. But it just looks dull and everything is moving backwards. Why?