BY PATRICIA SIBANDA
PARTICIPANTS at the ongoing Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Budget and Finance public hearings discussing the 2022 national budget have criticised government for failing to address Zimbabwe’s economic challenges.
On Wednesday, the committee descended on Bulawayo where residents complained over the snail’s pace in completing the Gwayi-Shangani Dam.
Bulawayo resident Themba Mlala said: “Government is failing to solve the economic problems in the country. The Gwayi-Shangani Dam has not been completed for several decades. Several other projects are yet to be completed due to the economic problems afflicting the
Budget and Finance Committee representative Tatenda Munyikwa, however, defended government saying the 2022 national budget had channelled funds towards several developmental initiatives.
The 2022 national budget was pegged at $927,3 billion.
Munyikwa said a large chunk of the budget was channelled towards the education sector, which got $124,1 billion, which is 12,8% of the budget.
“These funds were channelled towards programmes such as the Basic Education Assessment Module and the continuous assessment learning activity, while other funds were channelled towards sanitary wear, among other programmes,” Munyikwa said.
He said government was trying its best to fund the health sector, with 12% of the national budget allocated to health.
“There has been an improvement in allocations as compared to the 2020 and 2021 national budgets, which means that the government is trying to make frantic efforts to meet the national budget targets.
“Resources channelled to the ministry of Health were around $117,7 billion. The Agriculture ministry got $124 billion, and the Zimbabwe National Water Authority was allocated $194 million to drill boreholes in villages and schools in various places,” he said.
But Bulawayo residents said the allocations in local currency were inadequate to solve the economic problems in Zimbabwe.