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NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD 7 DECEMBER 2022 VOL 49 NO 4

PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE

Wednesday, 7th December, 2022

The National Assembly met at a Quarter-past Two o’clock p.m.

PRAYERS

(THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER in the Chair)

          *HON. MUNENGAMI:  Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am.  My point of order is that this House should note that the country is in darkness.  There is no electricity and there is no power.  People get electricity from 12 midnight until 4 in the morning, both residential and  industry.  We have Ministerial Statements which we request as Parliament in every session.  These issues were raised by Hon. Members so that the Minister could come and explain but he has not come back to the House.  The Minister of Local Government was also asked to give a Ministerial Statement on water shortages in Harare but the Minister has not addressed the issue.  Even the Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education was requested to give a Ministerial Statement on the state of affairs in tertiary institutions but the Minister has not come back to this august House as well.  I can continue with my list of different ministries. 

My question is; who is responsible for chasing up such issues?  Is it the Government Chief Whip, the Office of the Speaker or the Clerk of Parliament?  Madam Speaker, these issues have been pending for a long time.  These are perennial issues.  Electricity has become a big problem.  It is quite surprising that you find people ruling till Kariba dries.  Madam Speaker, when is this going to end when people do not have electricity?  Every day we do not have electricity.  This has never happened since independence.  What should we do Madam Speaker? – [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] -

*THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Order!  Thank you Hon. Munengami.  I will start from where you ended that a country is ruled until it ends - nyika inovakwa nevene vayo and until Kariba Dam fills up.  The other question that you asked is; who is responsible for the attendance of Ministers in Parliament to present Ministerial Statements - it is the administration of Parliament.

*HON. MUNENGAMI: Hon. Speaker, I am kindly requesting that you raise your voice, we are not hearing you.  

*THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: You must keep quiet as well.  You asked a question about the attendance of Hon. Ministers, it is the duty of the administration of Parliament.  You also requested for the responsible Hon. Minister to come; the Minister will be reminded to come. 

HON. NDUNA: On a point of national interest Madam Speaker.

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: What is your point of national interest?

HON. NDUNA: My point of national interest borders around the compounds in the farms that were taken for the Agrarian Reform Programme. I request because of the rampant evacuation and displacement of those former farm workers on those farms that there be a moratorium to hold in abeyance the issue of evicting those former farm labourers and compound dwellers because of two reasons.  When Government took over farms, it redistributed farms and compounds are being paid for under the Global Agreement Fund. 

It is my clarion call because of those evictions that if we do not evict those compound dwellers and former farm workers, we can use those compounds to ameliorate the current backlog in terms of housing infrastructure development. The example would be where there is 70 hectares of land that has been given for resettlement, 70 hectares fall under the compounds. It is my clarion call, fervent view and request that those in those compounds get to be allocated the houses as theirs since Government is paying for those improvements.

The current scenario would have a situation where the farm owners who have been given those farms now act as those houses in the compounds have also been given to them, alas or to the contrary, those houses belong to Government and it is my thinking that in the long term you can give or if we can request His Excellency the President to give title deeds to the former farm workers who are dwellers in the compounds to reduce the housing backlog.   I thank you and I hope that this is going to find favour in your eyes and in the eyes of Government.  I thank you.

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Thank you Hon. Nduna [HON. T. MLISWA: Inaudible interjection.] – Order Hon. T. Mliswa, Hon. Nduna thank you, you have raised a very valid point concerning compounds in farms in which farm workers are residing but I urge you to ask as a question to the responsible Minister who is the Minister of Lands on Question Time on a Wednesday.  I thank you.

HON. P. D. SIBANDA: Thank you Hon. Speaker; I have this urge to raise a point of national interest.  This point of national interest Hon. Speaker hinges on the decision that was made by the Government through the office of the Hon. Minister of Local Government, to appoint a Chief for the same people who are found in Tsholotsho.  Hon. Speaker, the national importance of this matter is that the same people for a long time are a group of people who have not really been recognised by the Government of this country until of late. 

The decision to have or to install a chieftainship for the group of people is important but however Hon. Speaker, there are issues that have to be looked into on that aspect on the decision of Government.  Firstly, did Government really consult the same people and then decided that they wanted a chief or it was an initiative of Government on its own?  I am raising this issue because the same people in Tsholotsho District are spaced and spread across two chieftainships.

Firstly, the chieftainship of Chief Poso and Chief Gampu, the question therefore Hon. Speaker that we want to understand from the Minister of Local Government is; what is the motive driving Government to decide that they have to install a chief for the people of the same community?

Secondly Hon. Speaker,  how is it going to be implemented?  You have got the same people that are living under Chief Poso and same people that are living under Chief Gampu.  What will be the jurisdiction of the chief that is appointed by Government for the same people? How will that chief exercise their jurisdiction in the areas that are under the control of Chief Poso and also under the areas that are under Chief Gampu?  At the end of the day Hon. Speaker, like I did ask firstly, what is the motive driving Government to decide that there should be a chief for the same people when the same people themselves do not feel like they want a chief?  Who identified the individual that Government wants to install as a Chief, is it the same people themselves or it is Government initiative?  Hon. Speaker, I think if the Minister of Local Government can come and apprise the nation on those issues, we can answer a number of questions pertaining to that issue.  I thank you.

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. P. D. Sibanda, I urge you to put all your questions in writing asking the Minister of Local Government to bring the response to this House under Questions With Notice.

HON. P. D. SIBANDA: My fear Hon. Speaker is that this is a matter of national interest, national importance and it is urgent.  I am speaking like that because it is boiling on the ground and therefore it is important that the Hon. Minister comes and gives a Ministerial Statement rather than a Question With Notice.

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  That is fine Hon. Sibanda. The responsible Minister will be asked to come to this House with a Ministerial Statement concerning all your issues.

HON. P. D. SIBANDA:  Thank you Hon. Speaker.

FIRST READING

ELECTORAL AMENDMENT BILL [H. B. 11, 2022]

THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI) presented the Electoral Amendment Bill [H. B. 11, 2022].

Bill read the first time.

Bill referred to the Parliamentary Legal Committee.

MOTION

RESTORATION OF BILLS ON THE ORDER PAPER

THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI):  Thank you Madam Speaker.  Madam Speaker, I rise to move that this House resolves that the following Bills which were superseded by the end of the Fourth Session of the Ninth Parliament, be restored on the Order Paper at the stage at which the Bills were in terms of Standing Order Number 171 (1) (a)

  • Private Voluntary Organisations Amendment Bill [H.B. 10A, 2021]
  • Police Amendment Bill [H.B. 2, 2021]
  • National Security Council Bill [H.B. 2, 2022]
  • Children Amendment Bill [H.B. 12, 2021]
  • Child Justice Bill [H.B. 11, 2021]
  • Labour Amendment Bill [H.B. 14, 2021]
  • Insurance Bill [H.B. 1, 2021]
  • Judicial Laws Amendment Bill [H.B. 3, 2022]
  • Electricity Amendment Bill [H.B. 7, 2022]
  • Medical Services Amendment Bill [H.B. 1, 2022]
  • Public Finance Management Amendment Bill [H.B. 4, 2021]

I so move Madam Speaker.

HON. GONESE:  Thank you Madam Speaker.  In principle, I have no problem with Bills being restored to the Order Paper at the stage at which they were at the time of the end of the Fourth Session.  However Madam Speaker, if my memory serves me right, in respect of the Police Amendment Bill, this is the second time that it is happening and I think the Administration of Parliament can assist me because from my recollection, the Police Amendment Bill was on the Order Paper at the end of the Third Session of this Parliament and it was not concluded in the Fourth Session. 

If that is the case Madam Speaker, where a Bill is being restored to the Order Paper in the next session and again it is not concluded and disposed of, it cannot be restored at that same stage but the Minister and the Executive have to start all over and start by regazetting.  So I have got reservations in respect of the Police Amendment Bill because procedurally, it is not permissible and that is the only reason why I have stood up to say in respect of the Police Amendment Bill, what the Hon. Minister is seeking to do is not permissible and as such, the Police Amendment Bill should be removed from the list of Bills which are supposed to be restored to the Order Paper for the simple reason that in terms of the Standing Orders, it cannot be done that way.  That is the only one where I believe that the Administration of Parliament can assist us.  It was from my recollection on the Order Paper for the Third Session that it was not concluded and it must therefore be removed and treated differently from the other Bills which the Hon. Minister has mentioned.

HON. ZIYAMBI:  Madam Speaker, I will check.  If that is correct then it can be removed.

Motion put and agreed to.

MOTION

FINANCE BILL: BUDGET DEBATE

Second Order read: Adjourned debate on motion that leave be granted to bring in a Finance Bill.

Question again proposed.

          HON. BITI: On a point of order. We are not seeing the Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Hon. Prof. Ncube. He has to respond. The Minister must respect this budget and this august House – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] -

          THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order! The Leader of Government Business and Minister of Justice Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, Hon. Ziyambi will be taking notes on behalf of the Minister of Finance and Economic Development – [HON.MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.]-

          HON. BITI: Hakusi kufudza mombe, the Minister must come and listen, it is a technical area.  He must respect this august House – [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] –

          THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: We also have Ministry officials who are also taking notes on behalf of the Minister.

          Hon. Biti and Hon. Gonese were asked to approach the Chair.

– [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] – 

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Members, may we have order in the House.

          HON. JOSIAH SITHOLE: I rise to present a report of the Portfolio Committee on Information, Publicity and Media Broadcasting Services on behalf of the Chairperson, Hon. Mokone.

          Madam Speaker....

          HON. MADZIMURE: On a point of order Madam Speaker.  In the absence of the Minister of Finance and Economic Development, let us allow the Chairpersons to just submit the reports since we are not going to debate them.  They should just submit them and the Minister will read those reports.

          *HON. T. MLISWA:  I rise to take note of those who have not collected their USD40 000.  Please, let us meet outside so that I compile that list – [Laughter.] –

          THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Please take your seat Hon. Mliswa.

          HON. T. MLISWA: No, it was on a lighter note, to be honest with you, I think we must take this budget seriously. The first thing is that the Minister of Finance and Economic Development and the Deputy Minister are not here and the Permanent Secretary is not here as well.  The second issue is that Ministers and Deputy Ministers responsible for these portfolios like Information, Broadcasting and Media Services are not here.  The Chairpersons of Portfolio Committees are not here, we cannot undermine authority to such a point.  Madam Speaker, may I propose that those substantive Chairpersons who are here be given a chance to read.  Like in this case, there was no reason given for the Chairperson why she is not here. At least she could have said I am giving a report for the Chairperson who is not well or who is somewhere.    

          THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Hon. Members, please may we behave like Hon. Members of Parliament.  Why are you making a lot of noise? 

          Hon. Biti having stood up

          THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  No, no, you cannot stand on another point of order Hon. Biti, you are a seasoned Parliamentarian, please switch off the microphone. -[HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections]-Order, order, may we have order in the House.  Hon. Mliswa, the presentation of a Chairperson presenting is not different from the presentation of any other Committee member presenting on behalf of the Chairperson. Please allow Hon. Sithole to continue with his presentation – [HON, MEMBERS: Achiudza ani?] – Achiudza imimi nemamwe ma Ministers arimo! [HON. MUNENGAMI:  Inaudible interjection.] – Hon. Munengami, if you continue with such behaviour, I will send you out. 

          HON. MARKHAM:  On a point of order, mine is clarity...

          THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Markham, please take your seat, no more points of order.

          Hon. Markham left the House. 

                   HON. JOSIAH SITHOLE: Report of the Portfolio Committee on Information, Media and Broadcasting Services.

                   1.0 Introduction

          The Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Information, Media and Broadcasting Services plays an oversight role over the Ministry of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services. The Ministry is responsible for the dissemination of information locally and globally to uphold and promote Zimbabwe’s founding values, identity and interests.

        1.1 Parastatals Administered by the Ministry       

(i). Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe (BAZ)

(ii). Zimbabwe Film and Television School for Southern Africa (ZIFTESSA)

          1.2 Companies and Public Enterprises Administered by the Ministry:

(i).Transmedia

(ii). Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation

(iii). Zimbabwe Newspapers Limited 

(iv). New Ziana 

                   1.3 Functions of the Ministry of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services: 

  1. Formulation and Implementation of dynamic media and information policies that promote rights, the country’s development and national sovereignty.
  2. Administration of information –related Acts for fulfillment and compliance
  • Information services to the citizenry on Government policies, programmes and other public issues
  1. Articulation of Government position and views on national issues
  2. Articulating Zimbabwe’s position and views internationally
  3. Supporting Government ministries and departments in the development of information – related structures in the development and expression of national culture, as well as forgoing national duty identity, cohesion and consensus.
  • Image building of Government and the country
  • Providing rural information services to bridge the information divide
  1. Providing platforms for artists 
  2. Participating in Fairs, Shows and Exhibitions
  3.          Providing training in information and media skills
  • Regulating Information and media industry
  • Laying media infrastructure and platforms and diarizing government events and activities

1.4 Services under the Ministry of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services

  1. Media liaison
  2. Content development and Production Services

iii. Rural Communication Services

  1. Urban communication services
  2. International communication services
  3. Finance, Administration, Human Resources and internal Audit vii. Broadcasting services

viii. Transmission Services

  1. News Agency Services
  2. Book Agency
  3. Training (Media, Information and Film)

xii. Archival Material Storage and Retrieval 

xiii. Licensing and Regulatory Services

1.5 Major achievements during 2022 fiscal year

          The Ministry achieved the following during the year 2022:

  1. Four (4) Community Radio Stations were operationalised.
  2. Exhibitions staged –ZITF 2022, Expo 2020 Dubai and four (4) provincial shows held in Midlands, Mat. South and Mash. East.
  3. 2022 Population and Housing Census and NDS1 Awareness campaigns conducted.
  4. All State functions dressed and equipped.
  5. Zim @42 Documentaries (lndependence, Heroes commemoration skits, print and broadcast materials) produced and distributed.
  6. All government diaries produced/circulated /covered.
  7. Three hundred and forty-five (345) foreign media practitioners/ journalists processed.
  8. Performance contracts for Ministry and parastatals senior management crafted, signed and evaluated.
  9. Successfully held two (2) national shows (42 lndependence and Heroes commemorations)
  10. World Radio Day and World Press Freedom Day commemorations held.
  11. Six (6) undocumented national heroes’ obituaries produced.
  12. Broadcasting Services Amendment Bill 2022 submitted to AG’s Office, Regulations gazzeted-Licence Fees Statutory Instrument (105) of 2022 and Complaints and Handling Statutory Instrument (SI), Memorandum of Understandings were drafted and reviewed.

1.6 Constraints in the year 2022

1.6.1 The Ministry’s plans were affected by the following concerns:

  1. Continued late disbursement of funds coupled with underfunding resulting in the delayed implementation of priority targets.
  2. The Ministry had no budget space in most of the key line items as from April because of the thin budget allocation that was allocated to the vote which was further eroded by inflation.

iii. Since the beginning of the year, there was an increased ad hoc demand for the deployment of the Public Address System (PA) to the presidium which crowded the budget for other planned targets. 

1.6.2 The constraints affected the implementation of different programs listed below;

  1. 6 studios to be modernized was a missed target due to financial constraints
  2. The Ministry failed to exhibit at the Harare Agricultural Show because of late disbursement of funds from the Treasury.

iii. Only six exhibitions were done out of the 11 targeted during the year. iv. Information packaged and dissemination number of documents amounted to 164 the target was missed by 197 because of budgetary constraints.

                   1.7 National Development Strategy 1 Sector Outcomes and Strategies

                   The Ministry will contribute to the following sector outcomes and strategies

(a) Sector outcomes

  1. Informed nation and international community
  2. Improved competitive brand b) Sector Strategies
  3. Develop an effective and coherent information communication strategy to accurately inform the nation and international community
  4. Develop a robust national publicity strategy with clear communication protocol to enable a two –way communication between government and the public.
  • Reshape the National view point through content creation, development and dissemination to improve Zimbabwe’s visibility.
  1. Align existing laws to the Constitution reinforced by the maintenance and administration of a good regulatory framework and facilitation.
  2. Enhance traditional media through a robust Digital Media Strategy
  3. Modernise communication infrastructure, particularly the expansion and digitalisation of media platforms.
  • Efficient maintenance of the existing infrastructure and capacitating the Government Internet Service Provider (GISP).
  • Develop a powerful national adornment drive in which national symbols and cultural heritage are used.
  1. Improve public relations, especially at ports of entry through requisite frontline officer’s training as well as dressing and adornment of reception areas.
  2. Create a highly competitive national brand, incorporating provinces.
  3. Recommend sprucing up and adornment of public building sand spaces in Zimbabwe and Missions abroad with Zimbabwean art-culture and heritage artefact.
  • Establish a national branding committee to strengthen coordination and harmonisation.
  • Develop a strong national brand through marketing heritage, world class education, health care and transport, low crime levels, peace and stability.
  • Broaden the capacity building program in protocol and diplomatic services for officials in the Civil Service and Public Entities
  1. Develop a robust inclusive national events strategy.

1.8 Ministry Strategies and Intervention for 2023

  1. Research, package and disseminate information in order to set the agenda on national development.
  2. Increase online publicity.

iii. Real time information dissemination.

  1. Create content for social media and mainstream media platforms.
  • Conduct public outreaches, roadshows and exhibitions (mobile and static)
  • Furnish information hubs with content/publications.
  1. Install and effectively use Outdoor Public Viewing Screens in marginalised communities where there is no radio and television reception and transmission.
  2. Creating an enabling environment for the media through licensing, commissioning and regulation of the media.

2.0 The National Budget Proportion

          2.1 The Ministry had submitted a budget request of Z$73.4billion against an expenditure ceiling of Z$5,3billion. The expenditure ceiling is 8% of the Ministry’s bid resulting in the gap of Z$68 billion which translates to shortfall of 92%. The Ministry was finally allocated Z$8,6billion which culminates to 0.52% of the total National Budget and 14% of the bid. In 2022, the Ministry of Information Publicity and Broadcasting Services was allocated Z$2,6billion which was 0.28% of the total National Budget. This time the Ministry was allocated a huge chunk from the cake but still the funds allocated are not enough in implementing critical programmes.

Comparison of Budget Allocation for 2021, 2022 and 2023 in Z$

Year

2021

2022

2023

 

 

Ministry of

Information,

Publicity and Broadcasting services

1,5billion

2,6 billion

8,6billion

National Budget 

422 billion

927million

4,5 trillion

Percentage of total budget

0.35%

0.28%

0.52%

 

          The allocation to the Ministry has subsequently increased by 0.24%. The budget allocation for 2023 amounts to 0.52% of the national budget compared to 0.28% in 2022 and 0,35% in 2021.

2.2 Breakdown of budget allocation 

  1. New Ziana Z$294.7million
  2. Transmedia Z$250million

iii. ZimDigital                                                                   Z$1.5 billion

  1. Film School (ZIFTESSA) Z$263. 4million
  2. Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) Z$200million
  3. Program 1: Policy and Administration Z$2.4billion
  4. Program 2: Information and publicity Z$3.6billion

2.3 HEAD OFFICE BUDGET Program 1 Budget: Policy and Administration (million)

 

Approved

Budget

2022

Budget Bid 2023

Revised Expenditure target 2023

Variance(RevisedBid)

Compensation of employees

75,1million

0

549, 2 million 

549,183

Goods and services

86,5million

2,73 billion

1,02billion

-273.378

Maintenance

80,6million

927,5million

505million

-422.568

Acquisition of non -financial assets

150million

626million

400million

-226.055

Grand Total for Programme 1

392,351

4,287,003

1,525,000

-2,832.819

 

          All budget items under program 1 had negative variances which indicate a budget shortfall except for compensation of employees. This will negatively affect the Ministry‘s ability to carry out their mandate effectively. Compensation of employees with a positive variance is favourable and will positively affect the operations of the ministry due to increased morale hence productivity. Capital expenditure which is key for service provision going into the future has a negative variance and is less than what the Ministry bid for, which means the Ministry will not be able to acquire capital goods due to resource constraints. Goods and services with a negative variance will affect the county's engagement and re-engagements efforts.

PROGRAM 2: INFORMATION AND PUBLICITY

 

Approved Budget 2022

Budget bid 2023

Revised Expenditure target 2023

Variance (revised expenditure bid)

Compensation

of

employment

82,1million

 

462,4million

462,474

Goods and services

215,1milllion

6,6 billion

1,85billion

-6,471,648

Maintenance

61,5millon

 

616 million 

616 .000

Acquisition of fixed assets

250million

1.47 billion

700million

-1,487,013

Grant total

for Head office

608,773

155,358

3,175,000

616,000

 

          Goods and services which shapes the correct narrative of the country had a negative variance which is unfavourable, hence this underfunding level will negatively impact on the country’s international engagement and re-engagements efforts as well as image building. Acquisition of fixed assets had a negative variance which will make it difficult to procure vehicles and equipment for daily operations. This will also affect investment levels.

Major concerns

  1. The Ministry had a bid of Z$73,4billion and was allocated Z$8,6 billion giving a rise to a shortfall of ZW$65,8 billion which is translated to 14% of the bid.
  2. 27 new district officers were appointed by the Ministry in line with the devolution and the Ministry is now represented in those districts. These district officers report and disseminate information on all areas in the outskirts so that citizens get information on real time basis. These district officers lack motor vehicles and equipment to carry out their duties effectively.
  • The Ministry also proposed a budget on goods and services of Z$955,4 million to cater for national branding and image building, however Z $336,6 million was allocated giving a shortfall of Z$ 618 million which will negatively affect the government’s image building as well as informing the national and international community.
  1. The shortfall will affect the Ministry in carrying out its duties efficiently and effectively.

The Ministry is requiring a top up of Z$1, 4 billion towards acquisition of 37 vehicles @Z$36 million each distributed as 27 for newly appointed district officers and 10 for the head office to replace  the old fleet.

                   2.4 BROADCASTING AUTHORITY OF ZIMBABWE (BAZ)

          The BAZ is the agent for digitalisation which started in 2015.Over the years since inception the project has been underfunded. The project has a long way to go with 30 more transmitters needed to finish the project. The target is to install 48 transmitters nationwide to complete digitalisation. The aim is to install ten (10) transmitters during 2023. 

Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe (BAZ) Budget Z$000

Expenditure item

2023 Budget Bid 

2023 Budget

Allocation

Variance (bid budget allocation

%variance

BAZ

23,6billion

1,5billion

22,1billion

-93%

 

          The total budget bid for BAZ was Z$23, 6 billion and BAZ was allocated Z$1.5 billion which resulted in under-funding of Z$22.1 billion. The allocated amount is not even enough to procure one transmitter, which means with the current funding of ZimDigital will take another thirty years to reach the intended purpose. This will negatively influence investment in capital grants and slower the digitalisation project.

          Committee Observations

I.The Committee calls for early disbursements of funds to minimise possible exchange losses.

  1. The slow implementation of Zim Digital project leads to violation of Sections 61 and 62 of the Constitution which calls for Freedom of expression and freedom of the media and access to information.

iii.  Digitalisation of ZBC is key for image building

  1. BAZ needs to be funded so that they improve radio quality and coverage since citizens now relies on radio services as we approach the 2023 harmonized elections.
  2. Need for software upgrades to minimise disruptive interruptions of systems. ZBC fails to archive information because there are no backup and archival retrieval systems.

                   BAZ priority projects

Ten (10) transmitters are targeted for the year 2023, therefore

Digitalisation was recommended to proceed.

It was resolved that BAZ will require an additional of Z$22,1 billion geared towards the 10 transmitters under digitalisation programme. 

 Purchasing of one (1) Public Address System to aid the existing one will require a budget allocation of Z$697,6 million.

          The Committee recommends that the purchasing of the PA system early in the budget should put the Ministry in good stead given election-related sound system demands in 2023. 

                   2.5 TRANSMEDIA

          Transmedia mantains the transmission infrastructure nationwide. Transmedia was allocated Z$250 million out of a total bid of Z$2,1 billion which results in underfunding of Z$1,7billion.

                   Transmedia budget (Z$000)

Expenditure item

Budget bid 2023

Budget allocation 2023

Variance (Bid allocation)

% Variance

Transmedia

2,1billion

250 million 

1,7billion

-87%

 

          A negative variance means a budget shortfall therefore the following areas will be negatively affected if adequate resources are not availed.

  1. Radio transmitters for community radio stations which implies less radio services coverage and less communities participating in the national economy, hence some citizens are left behind.
  2. Spares for the ageing radio and TV network

iii. Operational vehicles which are used to attend to faults

  1. Feeder roads to the transmission sites
  2. Lack of vehicles affects reaction time for transmission faults and installation

                   2.6 NEW ZIANA

          New Ziana produces community newspapers in various parts of the country in line with the devolution policy. It also has a publishing arm that operates eight provincial newspapers. The budget request was Z$1,2billion and the allocation amounted to Z$294,7million resulting in underfunding of Z$293,5million.

NEW ZIANA Budget in Z$000

Expenditure item

  2023 Budget bid

Budget allocation 2023

Variance (bid allocation)

Compensation of employees

 

174,7million

174,761

Equipment and machinery 

1billion

 

1,002,267

Use of goods and services

191,6million

120 million 

71,632 

Total

1,193,899

294,761

1,248,660

 

Committee Observations on New Ziana  

  1. The allocation of compensation of workers will be used to boost morale, hence productivity as they were the least paid in the media industry. Goods and services will be used for printing news gathering and distribution, rentals and communication costs.
  2. There was no allocation for capital expenditure which New Ziana needed for Printing press, ICT equipment and motor vehicles.

iii.     New Ziana requested for an additional allocation of Z$470 million for recurrent expenditure.  

                   2.7. ZIMBABWE FILM AND TELEVISION OF SOUTHERN AFRICA

          The film school is the sole training institute in the country which train and provide the nation with professionally qualified film and television personnel.  The film school submitted a budget of Z$544,6million and was allocated Z$263.5million resulting in a budget gap of Z$281,2million.

ZIFTESSA Budget in Z $000

 

Budget bid 2023

budget allocation 2023

Variance (bid –allocation)

Compensation of employees

 

33,5 million 

33,459,

Goods and services

239,6million

180milion

-59.63

Machinery and equipment

305 million 

50million

-255,04

Total

544,6million

263,5 million 

-281,211

 

          Funding requested by the film school was required for equipment, teaching aids and vehicles to run the school. Goods and services as well as machinery had a negative variance, which means the film school will not be able to procure machinery for mobility and crucial film training equipment due to underfunding. The Z$50 million availed will be channeled towards the procurement of three cameras for the film school. 

                   Impact of underfunding the film school and Committee observations

  1. The school is badly exposed as a poorly resourced institution since it has five old working cameras and three editing machines only.
  2. The school is running without credible film and textbook libraries which are important facilities for a credible film training college.
  • The Committee also noted that the film school should also try to raise funds by covering events such as weddings, engagements for instance.
  1. It is prudent to timely disburse the funds before the value is eroded by inflation.

2.8 ZIMBABWE BROADCASTING CORPORATION

          The corporation is heavily incapacitated in terms of mobility and shortage of vehicles which has greatly affected service delivery. The corporation submitted a proposal of Z$31 billion but was allocated Z$200 million and will be channelled towards the procurement of about 6 vehicles only.

                   ZBC Budget Allocation for 2023

 

Budget bid 2023

Budget

Allocation 2023

Variance (bid allocation)

%Variance 

ZBC

31billion

200million

30.8 billion

-99.3%

 

          A negative variance means ZBC is underfunded by Z$30.8 billion.

Impact of underfunding ZBC and Committee Observations

  1. ZBC submitted a total of Z$31 billion to cater for operations but received Z$200 million which presents a budget gap of approximately Z$30.8billion.
  2.        The corporation has been experiencing power outages which are affecting its operations.
  • Governments departments should honour their obligations to ZBC, to enable the corporation to generate revenue.
  1. ZBC is an institution of national interests and being a security center, requires modern security systems such as CCTV’s and Biometric systems.
  2. The amount allocated to the corporation should be disbursed early to the avoid foreign exchanges losses.

                   2.9 Zimbabwe Media Commission

          An independent commission whose purpose is the entrenchment of a democratic society; the Commission regulates media industry whose functions is to uphold, promote and develop freedom of the media, to promote and enforce good practices and ethics in the media and to promote fair competition and diversity in the media.

ZMC Budget Allocation for 2023

 

Budget bid 2023

Budget allocation

Variance (bid actual)

%variance

ZMC

5 billion

2,6 billion

2,4billion

-48%

 

          The Commission was given Z$2,6billion for the year 2023 against an expectation of nearly Z$5 billion resulting in underfunding of programmes. Of the total budget proposed, Z$416 446 000 is meant for employee’s salaries. A total of Z$900million meant for expenditure and of this amount Z$100 million is meant for building infrastructure while Z$425 million is for transport, leaving $375million for other machinery and equipment. From the total budget, a provision of Z$1.3 billion was made for recurrent expenditure. Of this amount, only Z$284,8 million is supposed to cater for all the programmes at hand. This is inadequate in the view of the mandate and expectations of the stakeholders, hence targets are not going to be met with this budget.

                   Observations and recommendations by the Committee on ZMC

  1. The current pool of vehicles donated in 2014 to the Commission is constantly breaking down. Although the Commission was given funds to purchase fleet in 2022, they only managed to purchase four out of 11 budgeted for due to late disbursement of funds. The 2023 budget for this activity is far from being enough.
  • The Commission purchased its own home in 2021. Funds for the renovation of the building were not disbursed and the little disbursed was eroded by inflation. The proposed Z$100million is not adequate to attend to issues needed in terms of renovations

iii. The need to reach out and sensitise stakeholders and members of the public during elections will be difficult in view of the meagre allocation.

  1. To enable the Commission to achieve its intended purpose and contribute meaningfully in the holding of 2023 elections, a total of Z$450 million is required.
  2. To enable the Commission to undertake outreach programmes and election observations, at least five (5) vehicles will be needed for the purposes yet only Z$30million for the purchase of programme vehicles was proposed under programmes in the budget.

vii.        The Commission needs to hold stakeholder engagements with the security sector as well as political players in a bid to create a working rapport between these stakeholders to uphold the image of the country.

          Hence ZMC requested a top-up of Z$4, 5 billion in order to carry out their mandate effectively.

          In total, the Ministry and its agencies are requesting for an additional allocation of Z$23,5billion and Z$697,6million for the PA system.

                   3.0 General Observations and Recommendations by the Committee

  1. The Committee commends the government for efforts made in increasing the budget allocation for 2023 since it received a larger proportion compared with the past few years.
  2. The Ministry of Finance and Economic Development should disburse funds on a timely basis in full allocation so that the Ministry can fully execute its mandate and to also guard against possible exchange losses. iii. Government departments and agencies should honour their financial obligations to ZBC.
  3. Bids for capital expenditure were reduced which hinders efficient service delivery across the country.
  4. There is need for information centers to translate policy in languages that all economic agents understand in view of devolution. This will mean analysis of policies using vernacular languages so that economic agents respond appropriately to policy proposition and changes.

vii. Procurement of vehicles will help create and save jobs as all government ministries and departments are mandated to procure vehicles from local suppliers in line with the local content policy.

                   3.1 Conclusion

          The Ministry of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services plays a pivotal role in the dissemination of information, promotion of public communication and image building for the country. However, the 2023 Budget made cuts on capital grants and expenditure bids which is most likely to compromise efficient service delivery of the Ministry and enterprises under it. There is a high risk of non-completion of the digitalisation programme due to inadequate funds and exchange losses hence digitalisation should be awarded high government priority status so that future prospects of engagement are not forsaken. There is need to curb for inflation and exchange rate losses hence the timely disbursements of funds is key. This will also ensure that the Ministry is fully capacitated to effectively deliver their mandate locally and internationally.  

          HON. S. K. MGUNI:  Thank you Hon. Speaker Ma’am. I would like to table the report of the Industry and Commerce Portfolio Committee. 

  • Introduction

On the 24th of November 2022, the Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Hon. Professor Mthuli Ncube presented the 2023 National Budget. The 2023 National Budget was presented in the turmoil of new waves of  COVID-19, negative externalities from the global geo-politics, tightening global financial conditions and was informed by the country’s Vision 2030, which is benchmarked by the continued implementation of the National Development Strategy 1 (NDS1), 2021-2025, which is an economic blueprint outlining the policies, institutional reforms and national priorities as the country aims to attain the middle-income status by 2030. Hence, the 2023 National Budget is aligned to the provisions of the NDS1 as it is centered on accelerating economic transformation.

The year 2023 marks the mid-year of the NDS1 implementation. The attainment of Vision 2030 and other regional and international development agendas such as the Sustainable Development Goals anchor on a diversified and competitive industrial sector as the core of economic transformation. Thus, the vision of the Ministry: A highly industrialized, technologically advanced and diversified Zimbabwean economy by 2030 aligns with the Vision 2030, regional and international development agendas. 

While the economy has been exposed to various shocks coupled with macro-economic risks, there is still need and space to firmly set focus on strategic priorities for economic recovery and growth anchored on building resilience against such shocks. Hence, the need to accelerate the industrialisation drive if we are to turn around the economy and steer it towards the achievement of Vision 2030.

  • The Ministry’s 2022 Budget Performance Review

The Ministry of Industry and Commerce’s mission is to facilitate and promote the development of sustainable, innovative, inclusive and globally competitive industrial and commercial enterprises for economic growth. This mission is aided through the Ministry’s main service delivery areas of policy and administration, industrialization and consumer protection and quality assurance.

The Ministry was initially allocated a total budget of ZWL$3.9 billion, which was later reviewed upwards to ZWL$5.54 billion after the Supplementary Budget during the year 2022. The increase in nominal value to the Ministry is always welcome. However, the major concern is around the actual disbursement of the allocated funds as the draw-down by September has been 32%, 32% and 42% for the years 2020, 2021 and 2022, respectively. The poor draw-down also cascaded to the Ministry’s priority areas as of September 2022, policy and administration (32%), industrialization (49%) and consumer protection and quality assurance (28%). This trend of failure to access the allocated resources negatively impacts on the functioning of the Ministry and highly threatens to compromise the attainment of national, regional and international objectives.

The Ministry’s major achievements under the three key result areas during the 2022 budget year include:

  • Continued implementation of the Zimbabwe National Industrial Development Policy (2019-2023)
  • Increased industry capacity utilization from 47% (2020) to 66% (2022)
  • Implementation of the E-Licensing for Import and Export licences
  • Improved availability of local products in the market (70%)
  • Increased number of pharmaceutical players in the industry from nine (9) companies in 2020 to eleven (11) in 2022
  • Successfully organized the 62nd Zimbabwe International Trade Fair
  • Successfully facilitated the Beitbridge Border Post upgrade
  • Operationalized the Consumer Protection Commission
  • Registered 4 650 reserved sector businesses as at end of September 2022
  • Commissioned a state of art shoe Polyurethane Pouring Plant at Bata Shoe Factory in Gweru
  • IDCZ realized US$500 000 per month in export of magnetite
  • Completed and commissioned the Zimphos Fertilizer Blending Plant in Msasa
  • Deven Engineering under the IDCZ, with assistance of resources from Treasury, has started refurbishing ZUPCO buses and have received semi-knocked down kits to start assembling buses.
  1. Overview of the 2023 National Budget

The Ministry was allocated ZWL$15, 6 billion which represents almost 200 percent increase from the revised 2022 National Budget allocation of ZWL$5.54 billion. The allocated figure falls short as it represents only 68 percent of the Ministry’s bid of ZWL$23 billion. Although the Ministry’s share of the total budget has been slightly increasing, from 0.24 percent in 2021 to 0.35 percent in 2023, these resources still remain far below the Ministry’s requirements. The prioritization of industrialization is not reflected in the allocations with the programme, trending a decrease in the past three years, 60.6 percent (2021) to 46.8 percent (2023). This vicious cycle of under-resourcing the line ministries impacts significantly on the ease of doing business and competitiveness as well as have huge implication on the nation’s route to fourth industrial revolution and the successful attainment of Vision 2030.

While the Ministry appreciates the overall allocations to its three main operating areas, Policy and Administration, Industrialization and Consumer Protection and Quality Assurance, however, concerns remain on the pace of disbursement of the funds across the thematic areas as this retards the overall functioning of the Ministry, implying threat to attainment of national objectives.

The IDCZ is the industrialization arm of the Government which plays a key role as a development finance institution. However, the Ministry notes that the strategic role of IDCZ is not reflected in the National Budget allocation to the institution as only ZWL$5.1 billion was allocated to IDCZ against a bid of ZWL$10 billion. This simply implies that the institution will be jeopardized on its mandate which includes supporting the functioning of the industry through contribution to import substitution, value addition and beneficiation, exports growth, employment creation, devolution and industrialization.

  1. Post Budget Presentation Analysis Meeting Output

Your Committee duly held a post budget presentation analysis meeting with Ministry officials led by the Permanent Secretary, Dr. Mavis Sibanda, and the industry representatives, CZI on Thursday the 30th of November 2022. The following issues were observed:

In its meeting with Ministry officials on the 30th of November 2022, the Ministry appreciated the slight increase reflected in 2023 National Budget allocation to the Ministry. However, there were concerns on the variance (32 percent) between the Ministry’s bid of ZWL$23 billion and the budget allocation of ZWL$15.6 billion which is likely to have a negative impact on the efforts of the Ministry towards attainment of Vision 2030, regional and international goals. Your Committee was in consensus with the Ministry officials in regards to the need to capacitate the industry towards aiding the 2030 vision.

Your Committee raised concerns on the low resource absorption rate over the past three years, averaging 32 percent in 2020 and 2021 and 42 percent in 2022. This low draw-down cascades to thematic areas, with 42 percent for industrialization as of September 2022 and this poses a threat to the overall attainment of Vision 2030. The Ministry officials also highlighted their concerns on delayed disbursement of budget allocations and requested your Committee to help in ensuring release of resources by Treasury to the Ministry in due time.

The Ministry, in their submissions, emphasized the significance of IDCZ in the industrialization process in the country and how they are concerned with the institution’s underfunding in the 2023 National Budget. Your Committee acknowledged the significance of the IDCZ and requested a breakdown of what the institution may attain in 2023 with availed resources as well as missed opportunities due to underfunding. Your Committee further asked the Ministry to provide statistics and progress of IDCZ on industrialization efforts and exports. The Ministry shared the success stories in respect to industrialization and exports by the institution.

Your Committee noted that the attainment of the Vision 2030 and national economic development is centered on successful industrialization process and value chain mapping and beneficiation. However, your Committee was concerned with the lack of prioritization and resourcing of the Ministry as its mandate and mission are vital for attainment of national, regional and international development agendas. 

The submission from CZI was centered around lack of priority given to the Ministry in relation to other ministries, the poor draw-down at Ministry level which cascades to Programme areas, and the failure by Treasury to disburse funds to the Ministry and other ministries in time. They noted that the strategic vision of industrialization under NDS1 is to contribute to economic structural transformation by moving the Zimbabwean economy up the value chain through industrial transformation. Their concern was that this is not reflected in the resource disbursement to the Ministry over the years. Your Committee agreed to the concerns of CZI as attainment of Vision 2030 is anchored on successful industrialization in the economy.

Your Committee asked a question on the status of ZISCO Steel resuscitation as it has been appearing in the National Budgets and has been a center of discussions for some time but without notable progress on the ground. The Ministry officials highlighted that there is progress on the ZISCO Steel resuscitation with work plans to start in January 2023 in place in partnership with Kuvimba Mining House.  Your Committee tasked the Ministry to share the work plans once they are finalized.  Your Committee also raised a question in line with payment of ZISCO workers’ pensions. The Ministry officials highlighted that they were of the impression that progress has been done but they will verify and report back on the status quo.

Your Committee asked the Ministry position with regards to internal resource mobilization in the face of limited National Budget allocations as well as whether the Ministry is retaining funds from its projects. The Ministry highlighted it is not mandated to retain funds and of the few retentions such as from SDF, they are utilized in line with Parliamentary Gazette

Your Committee also asked the Ministry officials about the Ministry on the position of disbursement of SDRs allocated for industrialization. The Ministry responded by highlighting that the funds have been distributed to the banks and will be used according to the intended purpose of supporting retooling and capitalization of the industry.

Your Committee also asked questions on the progress of the Economic Empowerment Principles Bill and on the status quo of Deven Engineering and Willowvale Motor Industry. The Ministry responded by highlighting that the Bill is work in progress with expected finalization by May 2023 and with regards to Deven Engineering and Willowvale Motor Industry, the Ministry reported that they have received semi-knocked down kits to start assembling whilst Willowvale Motor Industry have obsolete equipment and needs urgent attention. Your Committee further requested site visits for Deven Engineering, Willowvale Motor Industry and other Ministry projects. The Ministry responded by informing Your Committee that they are available for the sites visits.

Your Committee asked the Ministry to provide statistics on production and imports of water treatment chemicals as well as the demand for the IDCZ products. The Ministry, through IDCZ representatives, provided demand statistics for the products the institution is producing, including water treatment and grain protectants as well as the chemicals they are importing to treat water in the country. 

Your Committee asked IDCZ representatives if they had alternative solutions to the power challenges currently being experienced in the country and further questioned on the reported improvement in the ease of doing ranking for Zimbabwe. The Ministry, through IDCZ representatives, reported that there are various solar projects being implemented to sustain production and with regards to ease of doing business ranking for Zimbabwe, the Ministry acknowledged that there is still room for more improvement.

  1. Recommendations

Your Committee recommends:

The prioritization of the Ministry in terms of resource allocation and disbursement of funds from Treasury, particularly IDCZ allocation, to reflect the Ministry’s key and significant role in the realization of national, regional and international development agendas. The provision of funding to IDCZ is crucial for funding the industrial sector for retooling, industrial modernization and upgrading, and technology upgrade for adaptation.

Improved and expedient disbursement of funds by the Treasury, from the current 42 percent to at least 75 percent, to allow the Ministry to carry out its core mandate towards Vision 2030. The manner in which the budget allocates resources to the Ministry should reflect the need to scale up industrialization in pursuit of NDS1 and Vision 2030.

The need for continuous oversight on budgetary allocations and disbursement to the Ministry on a monthly basis to ensure funds are released with the oversight of the Committee. In line with this, there is need to invite the Minister of Finance and Economic Development in the future to account for the low disbursement of resources.

Establishment of concrete steps towards the resuscitation and capacitation of ZISCO steel citing clear stages to be followed with clear work plans and timelines.

Ensure effective disbursement and utilization of the SDR allocation for retooling, new equipment and replacement of value chains since industrialization requires significant transformation in order to improve production capacity and competitiveness. 

The need to improve the ease of doing business and competitiveness of the country so as to attract both domestic and foreign investment, hence the need to ensure macro-economic stability as a benchmark for economic growth and attainment of Vision 2030.

The Ministry should be empowered to embrace internal resource mobilization and retentions of funds from its projects for sustainability and enhancing. This should also include tapping on opportunities presented by the implementation of the AfCFTA.

The need for capacitation of Deven Engineering through disbursement of sufficient resources and removal of knocked down kits on duty to enable Deven to compete with duty free imported buses.

The need to retool and recapitalize Willowvale Motor Industry in order to enhance its production capacity and allow it to meet the local demand as there is an increase in the buy-Zimbabwe mantra.

The urgent visit of the Industry, Deven Engineering; Willowvale Motor Industry; Rushinga and Dorowa, to keep up to date with developments and needs of the Industry and in a way enhancing informed policy making processes.

  1. Conclusion

The Zimbabwean economy continues to be exposed to various shocks and macro-economic risks which have disturbed the industrial growth and development process. Hence, industrialization lies at the heart of our vision of becoming an upper middle-income economy by 2030. It is through industrialization and digitalization that we can effectively exploit the backward and forward linkages that primarily exist among the agricultural, mining and manufacturing sectors; thus, bringing to reality the structural transformation that this economy desperately needs. These aspirations can only be achieved when there is coordinated and complementary effort amongst all stakeholders, public and private, towards accelerating economic transformation.  I thank you.

HON. MUNETSI:  Thank you Madam Speaker.  I rise to present a report for the Portfolio Committee on Environment and Tourism. 

1.0 INTRODUCTION

The recommendations are in line with the NDS1 and the 2023 budget thrust. The Committee analyzed the policy issues, grant budgetary allocations and analysis by Ministry programmes and lastly analysed allocations done to the Ministry’s parastatals.

POLICY ISSUE THAT AFFECTS THE SECTOR

Government will increase marketing and promotion efforts by deploying tourism attachés at our embassies to aggressively promote destination Zimbabwe in key source markets , including China, France, Germany, India, Japan, South Africa, UAE, and the United Kingdom and the United States of America.

Flagship regional and international tourism meetings, conferences and exhibitions (MICE Tourism), marketing and promoting Zimbabwe’s tourism to the world through promotion programmes like VisitZimbabwe, MeetInZimbabwe and InvestInZimbabwe campaigns.

Image building and promotion through hosting of tourism opinion leaders and influencers, as well as organising familiarisation tours for media houses from key international tourist source markets.

Intensify domestic tourism through necessary campaigns and promotions, such as ZimBho/IZimYami programmes.

Infrastructure development, particularly focusing on offsite and onsite infrastructure for the Victoria Falls Special Economic Zone

  1. Community Based Tourism Enterprises
  2. Reviewing the National Tourism Policy and Tourism Act in line with current trends
  3. Government established a US$7.5 million Facilities Services Development and Upgrading Revolving Fund (TFDURF) through the use of SDRs
  4. Development Partner support of US$0.8 million, towards the renovation and rehabilitation of Great Zimbabwe, as well as technical assistance to Zimbabwe Tourism Authority and Zimbabwe National Parks.
  5. Suspension of duty on specified capital equipment imported by approved tourism operators
  6. Rebate of Duty on Goods Imported by Operators in Special Economic Zones
  7. Government’s Devolution policy

BUDGETARY ALLOCATIONS

The Ministry submitted an ideal bid of ZWL64,2 billion and was allocated ZWL 13,9 billion of the request for its four programmes namely:

  1. Policy and Administration
  2. Environment and Natural Resources Management
  • Tourism Development and Promotion
  1. Weather, Climate and Seismology Service

This means 21.65% of the ideal budget has been financed and

The Committee recommends an additional combined ZW of $ 50.3 billion to effectively finance the four programmes. Possible sources for this additional funding will come from carbon tax and tobacco levy.

ANALYSIS BY PROGRAMME

The ideal budget bid for the Policy and Administration programme was ZWL 5.243 billion and Treasury allocated it ZWL 3.484 billion. This entails that Treasury finances 66.45% of the ideal budget.

The Committee recommends an additional ZWL$1.759 mainly to finance activities in the new Department of Strategic Policy Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation with an establishment of 13 personnel.

The ideal budget bid for the Environment and Natural Resources Management programme was ZWL$26 billion, and Treasury allocated it ZWL$3,853 billion. This entails that 14.82% of the ideal budget is financed by Treasury.

The Committee recommends an additional ZWL$22.147 billion to cater for parastatals under the programme, outstanding international subscriptions, ICT equipment, environmental projects co-financing, environmental policy coordination and monitoring and evaluation.

The ideal budget bid for the Tourism Development and Promotion Programme was ZWL 24.1987 billion, and the Treasury allocated ZWL 3.821 billion. This entails that Treasury finances 15.79% of the ideal budget.

The Committee recommends an additional ZWL$20.3778 billion to finance Markets Development and Diversification, which entails intensifying destination marketing and promotion. Furthermore, funding is needed to cater for the Devolution Policy, outstanding international subscriptions and meet our obligations under Bilateral and Multilateral Agreements with regional and international tourism bodies.

The deficit thereby further increases our already existing debt to these organisations. Currently, outstanding subscriptions to international organisations for the year 2022 is USD$892,908.40.

The Committee recommends additional funding to meet these international subscriptions so that we can also unlock funding and loans from these Green Climate Funding, COP24, etc.

The ideal budget bid for the Weather, Climate and Seismology Service Programme was ZWL 10.8 billion and Treasury allocated it ZWL 2.735 billion. This entails that Treasury finances 25.32% of the ideal budget.

The Committee recommends additional funding of ZWL$8.065 billion to cater for equipment, rehabilitation of buildings, climate change mainstreaming, implementation of community-level adaptation interventions, delivery of the country’s climate change commitments through the Nationally Determined Contributions, co-financing incoming multi-lateral climate finance and payment of outstanding international subscriptions.

Funding is also needed to cover for the security of the already acquired weather, climate and seismology equipment.

ANALYSIS BY PARASTATALS

Programme 2: Environment and Natural Resources Management

  1. Forestry Commission

The ideal budget bid for the Forest Commission was ZWL$11.6 billion and Treasury allocated ZWL$1.4 billion. This entails that Treasury finances 12.07% of the ideal budget.

The Committee recommends the timeous release of tobacco levy for afforestation.

The Committee recommends an additional budget allocation of ZW$10.2 billion for the Hunting and Photographic Safaris rehabilitation and equipment procurement to enable self-sustenance.

  1. EMA

The ideal budget bid for EMA was ZWL7.577 billion and Treasury allocated it ZWL$ 300 million. This entails that the Treasury finances 3.96% of the ideal budget to implement activities like wetlands restoration, rehabilitation of degraded lands, and ecosystem, eradication of invasive species, developing pollution abatement facilities, acquisition of hazardous substances, emergency response, and ambient air quality monitoring equipment. There is also a need to construct a National Hazardous Waste Landfill in Kwekwe.

The Committee recommends an additional budget allocation of ZW$ 7.277 billion for Waste Recycling Initiatives (ZWL 300m), Wetlands Restoration projects (ZWL 450m), and other environmental abatement activities.

The Committee also recommends total disbursements of carbon tax timeously from the treasury. If EMA is allocated carbon tax alone it can self sufficient for its ideal bid.

ZIMPARKS

The ideal budget bid for ZIMPARKS was ZWL$2 billion and Treasury allocated it ZWL$200 million for Capital Budget. This entails that 10% of the ideal budget is financed by Treasury and this will heavily affect our expected domestic-led tourism.

The Committee recommends an additional budget allocation of ZWL$ 1.8 billion to cater for reconstructing the aging and tired, unattractive tourist infrastructure, asset base, and resources to curb the increased poaching incidents through sophisticated methods.

The Committee further recommends the above additional budget allocation so that ZIMPARKS can move away from only environmental conservation to industrial value addition and beneficiation, e.g skin tanning, shoe making, etc.

Programme 3: Tourism Development and Promotion

Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA)

The ideal budget bid for ZTA was ZWL$13.962 billion and Treasury allocated it ZWL$1,2bn (ZWL$1bn is for recurrent expenditure and ZW$200million for capital expenditure). This entails that 8.59% of the ZTA ideal budget is financed by Treasury and has received inadequate funding, negatively impacting Tourism and Growth Strategy, Government Devolution Policy, and Domestic Tourism Campaign.

The Committee recommends additional funding of ZW$ 12.762 billion to cater for ZTA’s extensive marketing and promotion and to meet recurrent and capital expenditures. The funding will also help the initiatives in traditional and domestic-led tourism, e.g Village /Township tourism and First Lady’s tourism initiatives.

The Committee recommends ZTA to structure the use of the established US$7.5 million Facilities Services Development and Upgrading Revolving Fund (TFDURF)

Mosi Oa Tunya Development Company       

The ideal budget bid for Mosi Oa Tunya Development Company was ZWL$4.095billion and Treasury allocated ZWL$725 million. This entails that only 17.7% of the Mosi Oa Tunya Development Company ideal budget is financed by Treasury. The company is still in its infancy and the current operations are non-revenue generating. The company needs to do a Validity of Feasibility Study, Architectural Modelling of the Concept plan in the Victoria Falls Special Economic Zone and the Victoria Falls integrated Tourist Resort.

The Committee recommends that an additional ZWL$3.37 billion be allocated to the company meant to develop onsite infrastructure for Lot 1 of Jafuta Estate situated in the Victoria Falls Special Economic Zone. 

Conclusion

While we are advocating for additional funding, we expect the Ministry and its parastatals to work within the allocations and provide the following possible strategies;

  1. Track donor funding and Ministry funding
  2. Efficient use of the allocated resources
  3. Create value from parastatals so that government can assist on capital expenditure and not recurrent
  4. Avoid requesting funding for the same projects (rhetoric requests) e.g Landfill
  5. Advocate for cost-cutting, cost-sharing in activities like tourism promotion, afforestation
  6. Realistic budgeting, e.g requesting large amounts to a project at feasibility stage

Mobilise out of budget funds to complement Treasury.  I thank you Hon. Speaker. 

          HON. WATSON: Thank you Madam Speaker.  I would like to present the report from the Health Committee on the Ministry’s budget allocation for 2023 on behalf of Hon. Dr. Labode.

Introduction

Background

The Ministry of Health and Child Care’s mandate is to provide the highest standards of health care services to all Zimbabweans in line with the Primary Health Care approach as set out in the National Health Strategy.

Methodology

          Following the presentation of the 2023 National Budget by the Minister of Finance, the Portfolio Committee on Health and Child Care engaged the Ministry of Health and Child Care and stakeholders to gather their views.  The Committee consolidated the views and came up with its own analysis of the budget.

HEALTH AND CHILD CARE BUDGET ANALYSIS

Overview of the 2023 budget

The Ministry of Health and Child Care received an allocation of ZWL$473.76 billion (equivalent to US$740.5 million using official rate) compared to ZWL$117.7 billion (US$ 1.1 billion using official rate) originally allocated in 2022. This allocation represents a 302.5% nominal increase to what was allocated in the previous budget. It further represents a10.54% share of the National Budget indicating a marginal decline from 12.16% that was achieved in the 2022 National Budget.

To contextualise the budget allocation to the health sector, an analysis of the top ten vote allocations was made (see Figure 1). Allocation to the Ministry of Health ranked second after Ministry of Primary and  Secondary Education.

Figure 1: Top ten vote allocations for 2023

 

Figure 2 shows the trends in the Ministry of Health and Child Care budget allocations and its share to National Budgets from 2014 to 2023. It illustrates the loss in the momentum that the sector had gained between 2018 and 2021 where health share of the budget rose from 5.84% to 12.87%. Instead share of the health budget fell to 12.16% in 2022 before reaching 10.54% in 2023.

Figure 2: Trends in Health and Child Care Budget Allocations (US$): 2010-2023

 

The share of the health budget to total expenditure for 2023 remains significantly below the 15% stipulated under the Abuja Declaration for the delivery of quality health services.

Trends in per capita health spending

The 2023 Health Budget allocation of ZWL$473.76 billion translates to US$48.78 in per capita terms, down from US$71.66 in 2022 (see Figure 3). This falls short of the National Health Strategy optimum per capita level of US$104.

 

Figure 3: Trends in per capita spending on health in Zimbabwe (2010-2023)

 

 

Further, it is only 56.07% of the World Health Organization (WHO) recommended threshold of US$86.

The 2022 Health Budget performance

The Ministry of Health and Child Care had received 85% of the revised budget of ZWL$146.63billion as at 30 September 2022.

Table 1: Summary of the 2022 Expenditure performance as at 30 September 2022

Expenditure

Revised Budget

 Releases 

 Expenditure

Expenditure Rate

Capital

18,092,800,806.00

2,983,932,806.00

2,183,923,660

12%

Operations

58,963,341,464.00

24,949,912,415.92

23,793,576,432.55

40%

Employment Costs

69,455,314,913.00

99,345,712,021

98,129,673,344

141%

Total

146,511,457,183

127,279,557,243

124,107,173,437

85%

As shown in Table 1, as much as 141% of the salaries budget; 12% of capital budget and 40% of the recurrent expenditure had been exhausted as at 30 September 2022. The utilization rate for central hospitals was 94% while that of provincial hospitals was 89%. District hospitals had a burn rate of 81%.

The Ministry implemented several capital projects in 2022 although these are at various levels of completion. These include the acquisition of medical equipment (30% complete); construction of Lupane Provincial Hospital (11% complete); Upgrading Ambulance Fleet (100) (32% complete); NMS-New Clinics (4) (25% complete); Staff Canteens (75% complete); Health Posts (10) (20%); Natpharm Storage (100% complete); Rehabilitation & Refurbishment of Central and  Provincial hospitals (25% complete).

Economic Classification of 2023 Health and Child Care Budget

Employment costs will take up 73.1% of the Ministry’s total budget compared to 21.5 % originally allocated in 2022 (see Table 2) or 47.3% allocated in the 2022 revised budget. This allocation represents a significant increase in employment costs from the 2022 allocation.

Table 2: Economic Classification of MOHCC 2023 Budget (%)

 

2023

2022 Original Budget

2022 Revised Budget

Compensation of employees

73.1

21.5

47.3

Capital expenditure

8.3

15.5

12.3

Recurrent expenditure

18.6

63

40.2

Capital expenditure for the health sector remains small as indicated by the 8.3% allocated in 2023 down from 15.5% allocated in 2022 original budget and 12.3% in the 2022 revised budget. This expenditure includes buildings and structures, machinery, and equipment as well as capital grants. As much as 18.6% of the Ministry’s Budget will be spent on recurrent expenditure compared to 63% allocated originally allocated in 2022 but later revised to 40.2%.

Programmes Budget Allocations vs Bids for 2023

The Ministry of Health and Child Care submitted a bid of ZWL$820 billion to Treasury for its programmes but received an allocation of ZWL$473.76 billion (or 58% of its funding needs) leaving a funding gap of ZWL$346.28 billion (see Table 3).

Table 3: 2023 MOHCC BID vs Allocation by Programme (ZWL$)

Program

Bid

Allocation

Allocation % to Bid

GAP

Programme 1: Policy and Administration

182,492,353,457

95,886,621,000

53%

 86,605,732,457

Programme 2: Public Health

82,184,360,401

41,334,336,000

50%

40,850,024,401

Programme 3: Curative Services

537,686,696,122

333,311,189,000

62%

204,375,507,122

Programme 4: Bio-Medical Science, Engineering and Pharmaceutical Production

17,677,837,170

3,226,063,000

18%

14,451,774,170

Total

820,041,247,150

473,758,209,000

58%

346,283,038,150

Three of the Ministry’s programmes received half to slightly above half of their funding requirements. For example, Policy and Administration was allocated ZWL$95.89 billion (53% of its bid). Public health programme was allocated ZWL$41.33 billion (or 8.72% of the total health budget) constituting exactly half of its bid. Curative services programme was allocated ZWL$333.31 billion (70.36% of the total health budget) and this represented only 62% of its funding requirements. The fourth programme, Bio-Medical Science, Engineering and Pharmaceutical Production received only 18% of its bid (see Table 3).

Programme 1: Policy and Administration

Policy and Administration Programme received ZWL$95.89 billion but 47% of its financial needs were not met under the 2023 Budget.

Table 4: Programme 1. Policy and Administration (ZWL$)

 PROGRAMME 1: POLICY AND ADMINISTRATION

 2023 Allocation

 

 

 

2023 Bid

Share of Programme allocation

(%) in 2023

Share of Programme allocation

(%) in 2022

Sub-Programme 1: Ministers' and Permanent Secretary's Office

3,497,147,000

            8,136,208,694

 

4

4

Sub-Programme 2: Policy Planning and Co-ordination

5,654,459,000

          38,095,796,612

 

6

14

Sub-Programme 3: Human Resources

10,236,086,000

          17,391,282,000

 

11

14

Sub-Programme 4: Finance and Administration

13,006,289,000

          53,379,445,000

 

14

16

Sub-Programme 5: Monitoring and Evaluation

2,917,134,000

            4,696,334,996

 

3

4

Sub-Programme 6: Internal Audit

989,326,000

            2,207,020,000

 

1

3

Sub-Programme 7: Logistics and Asset Management

59,108,792,000

          57,977,002,156

 

61.5

44

Sub-Programme 8: Legal Services

477,388,000

609,264,000

0.5

2

 Total

95,886,621,000

182,492,353,457

100

100

The most affected sub-programme is the Policy Planning and Coordination whose requirements are ZWL$38.01 billion but only received ZWL$5.65 billion. The level of priority to sub-programme allocations did not change much from 2022 except for logistics and asset management whose allocation increased from 44% in 2022 to 61.5% in 2023 (see Table 4).

Programme 2: Public Health

Public health programme was allocated ZWL$41.33 billion (or 50% of its bid). Significant changes in allocations in the 2023 Public Health budget compared to 2022 were noted in environmental health (41%) and family health (29%) (see Table 5). Allocation to communicable diseases was slashed from 71% in 2022 to only 26% in 2023 possibly due to the fact that the country is emerging out of COVID -19 pandemic. 

Table 5: Programme 2: Public Health (ZWL$)

 

 PROGRAMME 2: PUBLIC HEALTH

 2023 Allocation

 

 

 

2023 Bid

Share of Programme allocation(%) in 2023

Share of Programme allocation(%) in 2022

Sub-Programme 1: Communicable Diseases

10,598,594,000

27,104,126,000

 

26

71

Sub-programme 2: Family Health

12,086,677,000

32,667,379,825

 

29

14

Sub-Programme 3: Non-Communicable Diseases

1,650,618,000

8,638,128,576

 

4

5

Sub-programme 4: Environmental Health

16,998,447,000

13,774,726,000

41

10

Total

41,334,336,000

82,184,360,401

100

100

Sub-programme 4 on Environmental Health is the only one that received more than its bid (123%). The worst affected is sub-programme on Non-Communicable diseases that received ZWL$1.65billion representing 19% of its financial requirements. This was followed by Family Health sub-programme that received ZWL$12.09billion (or 37% of its bid) and Communicable Diseases sub-programme that received ZWL$10.6billion (or 39% of its bid).

Programme 3: Curative Services

Curative Services programme was allocated ZWL$333.31 billion (or 70.35% of total health budget) against a bid of ZWL$537.69 billion. The level of priority attached to curative services sub-programme allocations did not change from 2022 (Table 6).

 

Table 6: Programme 3: Curative Services (ZWL$)

PROGRAMME 3: CURATIVE SERVICES

 2023 Allocation

 

 

 

2023 Bid

Share of Programme allocation (%) in 2023

Share of Programme allocation (%) in 2022

Sub-Programme 1: Quinary (Research Hospital)

8,862,869,000

            2,534,568,601

 

2.7

0.5

Sub-Programme 2: Quaternary Care(Central Hospitals)

113,412,617,000

        270,326,340,880

 

34.0

29.5

Sub-Programme 3: Tertiary Care(Provincial Hospitals)

35,023,410,000

          86,606,875,824

 

10.5

13.5

Sub-programme 4: District/ General Hospitals Services

80,749,503,440

          61,805,550,661

 

24.2

26

Sub-programme 5: Rural Health Centre and Community Care

94,875,754,560

        114,641,337,156

 

28.5

30.2

Sub-Programme 6: Traditional Medicines

387,035,000

            1,772,023,000

 

0.1

0.3

 Total

333,311,189,000

        537,686,696,122

 

100

100

Allocation of ZWL$80.75 billion to the districts/general hospitals exceeded the Ministry of Health’s bid of ZWL$61.81 billion. The same was noted in the allocation to the quinary care that received ZWL$8.86billion amounting to 350% of its bid. This is a newly introduced health care service that will offer advanced specialist care that is normally sought from outside the country. Central hospitals received ZWL$113.41billion (or 42% of bid). Provincial hospitals were allocated ZWL$35.02billion (or 40% of bid). The sub-programme on traditional medicines is still receiving some funding from Treasury although its allocation as a share of the total budget to Curative Services fell from 0.3% in 2022 to 0.1% in 2023.

Programme 4: Bio-Medical Engineering, Bio-Medical Science, Pharmaceuticals and Bio-Pharmaceutical Production

The Ministry’s fourth programme on Bio-Medical Engineering, Biomedical Science, Pharmaceutical and Pharmaceutical Production got the least allocation of ZWL$3.23billion (or 0.68% of the total health budget) against a bid of ZWL$17.68 billion. More than half of this allocation went towards health research (54%) in 2023 compared to 28% allocated in 2022 (see Table 7).

Table 7: Programme 4: Bio-Medical Engineering, Bio-Medical Science, Pharmaceuticals and Bio-Pharmaceutical Production (ZWL$)

 

PROGRAMME 4: BIO-MEDICAL ENGINEERING, BIOMEDICAL SCIENCE, PHARMACEUTICAL AND PHARMACEUTICAL PRODUCTION

 Allocation

Share of Programme allocation(%) in 2023

Share of Programme allocation(%) in 2022

Sub-Programme 1: Bio- Medical Engineering

232,700,000

7.2

15

Sub-Programme 2: Bio- Pharmaceutical Engineering and Production

250,359,000

7.8

17

Sub-Programme 3: Bio-Medical Science Research

259,965,000

8.1

23

Sub-Programme 4: Bio-Analytics

741,161,000

23.0

17

Sub-Programme 5: Health Research

1,741,878,000

54.0

28

 Total

3,226,063,000

100

100

 

The other sub-programme that received higher priority is bio-analytics that was allocated 23% of the programme budget in 2023 compared to 17% of the budget in 2022.  No significant changes were noticed in the remaining sub-programmes.

 

Zimbabwe Health Financing (2014-2023): Domestic vs Partner funding Trend

The 2023 health financing mix shows that Government of Zimbabwe increased its contribution from US$406 million (or 43.84%of the total funding on health) in 2022 to USD$591 million (or 60.3% of the total funding on health). Late and partial disbursements on the part of Government, however remain an issue.

The Ministry of Health and Child Care continues to receive substantial partner funding in various programmes such as HIV/AIDS, malaria, maternal health among others. This increases the country’s vulnerability to health shock should these funds dry up.

COMMITTEE OBSERVATIONS, ISSUES AND CONCERNS

Funding gap too wide, health outcomes may not be met

          The Committee is concerned that the Ministry of Health and Child Care only received 58% of its funding requirement of ZWL$820 billion in 2023.  This is equivalent to US740 million if converted using the official exchange rate but only US592million using spot rate being used by most economic agents in the market.  The much-applauded 2022 budget that translated to US$1.1 billion upon its pronouncement but translated to only US$406 milliondue to the fall in the value of the Zimbabwean dollar experienced in 2022. This allocation is grossly inadequate to support the Ministry to fulfil its mandate of providing the highest standards of health care services to all Zimbabweans.

        Although the Ministry of Health received the second highest allocation, the Committee’s concern however, is on the partial and late disbursements of allocated funds which recur annually. For example, whilst 86.87% of the 2022 Health budget had been released as at 30 September 2022, only 16% of capital budget and 42% of the operations budget had been released. Late disbursements seriously affect the Ministry’s operations and compromises its capacity to deliver on its mandate.

          The 2023 allocation of 10.54% to the National Budget remains well below the Abuja Declaration target of 15%. In fact, the Committee is disappointed that the momentum that had been gained towards the 15% threshold between 2018 and 2021 has been lost.  It is of very serious concern that Zimbabwe continues to miss this commitment despite it being a signatory to the Abuja Declaration. The trend has been that disbursements are always less than the allocated share, which is a worrisome practice to the Committee given that ZIMRA always exceeds it revenue collection targets. Where is the money going?

          The Committee is concerned that the trend in per capita spending in the last 5 years remained below the expected optimum level of US$104 under the National Health Strategy and the US$86 as recommended by WHO. Such low levels of per capita spending in health care indicate that health financing in the country is insufficient to guarantee adequate access and quality healthcare. This implies that the health sector will continue to significantly rely on out-of -pocket expenditures and donor assistance. This is not sustainable given the low disposable income amongst the public and the unpredictability of donor support.

          All the hospitals across the country were grossly underfunded in the 2023 National Budget. For example, central hospitals received ZWL$113.4billion (or 42% of their financial requirements) whilst provincial received ZWL$35.02 billion (or 40% of their financial requirement). This level of financing will leave them incapacitated to deliver their services. It is of concern that there is gross under-investment in medicines. It is now normal for patients to buy basic medicines like pain killers; lack of medicine supply from hospitals have seen the mushrooming of pharmacies that are fleecing patients of their hard-earned cash.

          The 2023 National budget is grossly inadequate to address the massive brain drain of nurses and doctors. Further, the Committee is deeply concerned with the heavy-handed way Government used to end the recent strikes by the health personnel. The strikes were not properly managed and instead fueled the massive exit of health personnel into the region and beyond.  They continue to earn salaries in RTGS yet meet their living expenses in USD.

  • Family health was allocated ZWL$12.09billion and this constitutes only 37% of its bid. This is grossly inadequate given the level of maternal deaths and health needs in the hospitals.
  • Non-communicable diseases sub-programme was the least prioritized under the Public Health programme as it received only ZWL$1.65billion, representing 19% of its financial requirements.
  • The allocation of ZW$1.78 billion towards contraceptives however, represents 96% of the Ministry of Health’s bid. The Committee commends Treasury for this level of priority it attached to contraceptives.
  • Zimbabwe is not exploiting the use of Public Private Partnerships in the provision of public healthcare as some countries like South Africa do.

Budget largely funding salaries and operations whilst neglecting capital expenditure

          The Committee is concerned that the bulk of the health budget is going towards salaries (73.1%) and recurrent expenditure (18.6%) leaving only 8.3% for capital projects. Investment in capital projects continues to decline yet this is where significant share of the budget must go in order to address the deplorable state of the health system. Gross underinvestment in health infrastructure leaves the Ministry of Health incapacitated to deliver the expected health services. In addition, the capital budget is largely biased towards construction of hospitals whilst neglecting the procurement of tools of trade for medical personnel.

          Budget allocation inclined more on curative than preventative programmes

          Although Curative Services was allocated ZWL$ 333.31 billion (70.36% of the total health budget), compared to the ZWL$41.33billion (or 8.72% of the total health budget) allocated to public health; this level of priority it received signifies little investment in prevention of diseases but more on curative measures.

          The allocation to health left several critical projects worth US$28.06billion unfunded.

          These include Natpharm warehouse ZESA project; provisions of medical staff houses; hospital laundry; mortuary and kitchen cold-room; health posts; Natpharm Harare; furniture and equipment for provincial hospitals; procurement of motor vehicles; medical equipment; Binga and Chivhu nurses schools; solar systems; port health ; and high infection treatment centres among others. Staff accommodation is critical for health personnel retention in view of the massive brain drain in the health sector. Failure to fund this budget line is a shot in the arm. Most of the health equipment is dilapidated and cannot offer decent health services. It deserves high funding priority. Further, no capital support was given to the Ministry’s parastatals.

          Funding towards specialist services in Zimbabwe long overdue

  • The Committee commends Treasury’s support to quinary care. In fact, it is long overdue; offers many advantages but does not come cheap. Quinary care is critical for provisions of specialist health services locally thereby cutting on external referrals and saving on the much-needed foreign currency. Further, it is likely to improve staff retention; attract medical personnel and promote health tourism if effectively implemented. These specialized services, however, remain a preserve of the elite as they are costly. Equal priority therefore, needs to be attached to basic health services that benefit the majority of the population as these are still largely underfunded.

          Health Financing mix needs further balancing

          Although external health financing significantly dropped from 56.16% in 2022 to projected 37.13%, it is still substantial and continued reliance on donor funding has its own challenges. HIV treatment in Zimbabwe is a case in point. Over 10% of Zimbabwean population lives with HIV and the country has a successful model of antiretroviral treatment. The Committee is concerned that the bulk of the funds supporting that programme are coming from development partners. Whilst the country is stabilizing the HIV burden and striving to reach the global commitment of ending HIV by 2030, withdraw of such funds will result in the country missing this goal.

          The unconducive macro-economic environment continues to compromise health service delivery

          The health budget continues to be implemented in an unstable macroeconomic environment characterized by high inflation of 268.8%  in October 2022 and unstable exchange rate.

          Child care expenses are hidden in the Health and childcare budget

          The Committee is concerned that whilst the budget is for Health and Child Care, the statistics are highly aggregated and biased towards health care. This makes analysis of the implications of the budget to childcare very difficult.  In addition, child care issues cut across ministries, i.e. the Ministry of Health and Child Care and that of Public Services and Social Welfare making coordination and implementation of projects fragmented. This is the challenge experienced when ministries are bundled up. Despite the increasing cases of child abuse (child marriages, teenage pregnancies; rape, etc), there is nowhere victims can find help as there is no funding for them.

RECOMMENDATIONS

          Treasury to increase the health budget: Treasury to increase the share of the budget allocated to health to 17-20% in order to adequately address the health needs of the people. This must be complemented by timely disbursements of allocated resources in full. In addition, more resources still need to be channeled towards central, provincial and district hospitals; mental health, non-communicable diseases and remunerations among other areas. There is need for increased investment towards medicines to ensure these are made available to patients in hospitals.

          Treasury to ensure disbursements of allocated funds to the Ministry of Health are done by mid-year

  •    to avoid loss of value due to depreciation of the exchange rate and
  •     to ensure adequate time for programme implementation.

          Treasury to reconsider the funding of critical projects that were omitted in the 2023 budget

  • Treasury to fund the retooling of hospitals. Hospitals need retooling if they are to offer health services of international standards.
  • Financial Support to Natpharm is imperative as it improves drug supply and service delivery.
  • The Ministry’s proposal to localize nurses’ training schools in remote areas such as Chivhu and Binga must be promoted. This will go a long way in increasing staff retention as locally trained personnel will be more keen to stay in their local areas than those from afar.
  • Treasury to prioritize investment in medical personnel accommodation as part of its efforts towards staff retention. This will go a long way in curbing the massive brain drain that is experienced in the health sector.
  • Port health and health posts must be funded as they are critical in the prevention of diseases.

Treasury to explore alternative health financing options

In view of the limited fiscal space, there is need for Treasury to explore alternative domestic funding options. Some of these include:

  •      charging cost recovery health fees where patients are charged a basic fee towards the purchases of consumables used for each service they receive. This is normally covered by the National Budget but it no longer funded.
  •       Introducing and ring fence the health fund levy for it to be effective. This fund will target medical equipment; laboratories; and medicines. The budget allocation for this levy needs to be in United States Dollars to cater for the importation of most medical equipment, drugs and accessories.
  •       Introducing a road fund levy. Currently, the vehicle insurance is targeted on vehicle repairs but not on the injured person or casualty services. If introduced, this will go towards blood procurement, ambulances and emergency services.
  •       Tobacco levy and carbon tax to partly fund the treatment of non-communicable diseases. The increase in non-communicable and respiratory diseases emanating from smoking and carbon emissions justifies introduction of this levy.
  • Introducing tax on manufactured and retail foods that cause obesity. Such fund will go towards investigations of diabetes; arthritis and dental disease that emanate from the consumption of such foods.
  • Beer levy. Tax beer and alcohol substance manufacturers as consumption of these has mental health implications. Allocate the collected funds towards operations or rehabilitation and detoxing centres.
  • Promoting PPPs to invest in quinary health services. In this regard, the Zimbabwe diaspora community to ride on this facility as government is providing land as incentive towards investment in this area. PPPs can also be used for the creation of private wings in big referral hospitals and funds collected from these are then used to subsidize poor patients. Most of our hospital wards are empty. Therefore, big companies like Econet through its Higher Life Foundation; Old Mutual; and big mining companies among others can be incentivized to participate in this initiative where they will bring latest medical equipment and other requisite infrastructure. A PPP model that is already running at UBH for orthopedic services to children can be replicated. In addition, Zimbabwe can pick lessons on how the South African model is working and then customize and implement it in a phased approach. In addition, nurses working in the public hospitals can then have shifts in these private wards in order to augment their salaries.

Programme allocation must be balanced

  • There is need for a balance between what is allocated to curative services and public health to ensure the health sector is adequately prepared to prevent the spread of diseases.
  • The same applies to allocation to family health that deserves equal attention as environmental health. In addition, allocations towards non communicable diseases and mental health must be commensurate with the situation on the ground.
  • Moreso, financing of specialist health services must not overshadow the funding of basic healthcare as this benefits the majority of the population.
  • Whilst allocation to salaries is very critical, its share to total budget must not crowd out allocation towards capital expenditure that also has to fund tools for trade.
  • The Minister of Finance to develop long term human resource retention schemes to health personnel to attract and retain motivated staff and stem brain drain. These include but not limited to material benefits such as allocation of stands; housing loans; school fees support; study loans; medical aid; and motor vehicle loan facilities. Their salaries must be in USD and in line with their living expenses.
  • Government to ensure a stable macro-economic environment that promotes price and exchange rate stability. This will ensure improved health service delivery.
  • The Health Budget to support the prevention of substance abuse; construction and refurbishment of rehabilitation centres in Zimbabwe.
  • Ministry of Health and Child Care to be unbundled so that there is a stand-alone Ministry on Child Care to adequately address and respond to children needs.

HON. GABUZZA:

Introduction

The Portfolio Committee of Energy and Power Development has  an oversight responsibility over the Ministry of Energy and Power Development. The Ministry of Energy and Power Development is mandated to provide adequate and sustainable energy supply through formulating and implementing effective policies and regulatory frameworks. Post budget consultations conducted with the Ministry and its stakeholders showed that there was an increase in the 2023 budget allocation to the Ministry of Energy and Power Development from the 2022 budget allocation. Key Policy Priorities for the Ministry of Energy and Power Development in 2023 - The Ministry of Energy and Power Development has managed to identify some key developmental areas to pursue. Some of the Ministry’s priorities for the period 2023-2025 include:

  • Plant maintenance and Rehabilitation of existing energy infrastructure
  • Development and commissioning of new energy infrastructure
  • Finalise competitive procurement framework for renewable energy projects
  • Secure additional power imports
  • Develop an electricity pricing policy
  • Building up national strategic stocks of fuel reserves
  • Completion of storage facilities for Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG) and ethanol
  • Create an enabling environment for private sector participation in renewable energy infrastructure.

Ministry’s key achievements in 2022 - In 2022, Ministry of Energy and Power Development managed to post some achievements, which include the following:

  • Increased fuel availability in the market
  • Commissioned Hwange Thermal Power Station Unit 7, adding 300MW into the national grid
  • Commissioned a 12MW solar power capacity at Blanket Mine in Gwanda
  • Completed the construction of the 6million litres ethanol storage facility at Mabvuku to ensure consistent blending capacity
  • Significant progress in the expansion works at Hwange 7 and 8 units

Ministry of Energy and Power Development 2022 Budget Performance - In the 2022 Mid Term Fiscal Policy Review, Treasury revised the Ministry’s budget to ZWL$8.184 billion. However, as at 30 September 2022, the Ministry had only spent 41% of the revised budget and by 31 October 2022, expenditure had reached 57%.  Consultations with Ministry Officials revealed that the late disbursements greatly affected the Ministry operations as Programme 1 (Policy and Administration) received 34% of the allocated budget. The non-disbursement of funds negatively affected the acquisition of motor vehicles and machinery and equipment which had a budget outturn of 0%.  As a result of the failure by Treasury to release funding to the Ministry, the following budget performance impacts were noted:

  • Failed to carry out monitoring and supervision of projects under the Ministry’s purview as the Ministry’s vehicle fleet is very old and have become very expensive to maintain;
  • Failed to achieve some of the 2022 targets as the non-disbursement of funds resulted in the stagnation of most projects.

Overview and Analysis of the Ministry's 2023 Budget Allocation:-

Ministry of Energy and Power Development 2023 Budget Allocations - The Ministry of Energy and Power Development was allocated a total of ZWL$15.468 billion (Equivalent to US$23,620,603.69) in the 2023 budget. The amount allocated represent an 89% increase from the 2022 budget allocation of ZWL$8.184 billion. Although the Ministry’s budget in Zimbabwe Dollars increased from the 2022 budget allocation, in terms of US dollars equivalence, the budget allocation for 2023 is lower than the 2022 budget allocation of US$33,634,913.87. Furthermore, whilst in nominal terms the amount allocated increased, the share of the Ministry’s budget the total budget decreased from a share of 0.42% in 2022 to 0.35% in 2023. Figure 1 shows the Ministry of Energy and Power Development’s budget shares in the total National Budget for the period 2019 to 2023.

Economic classification of the budget - Of the Ministry’s total allocation of ZWL$15.468 billion, 32% was allocated towards the Ministry’s current expenditure, 39% for capital grants to the Ministry’s parastatals, 20% for capital expenditure and 9% for loans to ZESA for Hwange 7 and 8 Expansion and ZRA legacy debt.

Ministry’s 2023 Budget Allocations versus Bids - An analysis of the Ministry’s funding requirements and the Ministry’s allocations in the 2023 budget for its two programmes reveals that the Energy access and Supply Security Programme was grossly underfunded. The Programme was allocated only 32% of the Ministry’s requirements.  The largest deficit/shortfall is coming from State Enterprises Capital Grants, which were allocated 17% of the funding requirements. The underfunding for this programme will likely affect the supply of energy in the country as both generation and distribution of energy will be negatively affected.

On the other hand, Treasury is applauded for the improved allocation for Programme 1: Policy and Administration, which was allocated 78% of what the Ministry had requested. In the past, the Ministry perennially suffered from serious under provision for its operations which mostly fall under the sub head “Use of goods and services” and “Acquisition of non-financial assets” excluding “Capital Grants”.  Barring unexpected inflationary pressures, the improved allocation will go a long way in ensuring attainment of the Ministry’s 2023 targets as the Ministry’s operations will be adequately funded.

Acquisition of non-financial assets excluding capital grants however remained in the doldrums with very subdued allocations at 18.7% of the requirements. Acquisition of non – financial assets excluding capital grants comprise of the following

  • Transport equipment
  • ICTs, that is Desktop computers, laptops, printers, tablets and cell phones (tools of trade)
  • Office furniture and equipment, i.e. desks, chairs, photocopiers, projectors, kitchen and culinary equipment, etc.
  • Furniture and fittings, which includes office portioning.

Figure 3 shows the Ministry’s two programmes’ 2023 budget allocations versus the Ministry’s funding requirements.

Figure 3: MOEPD’s Allocation versus its funding requirements for the two Programmes

Source: Budget Estimates (2023)

A further breakdown of the Ministry’s budget reveals that the variance between bids and allocations is also coming from underfunding for the strategic fuel reserves. The strategic fuel reserves were allocated $1.45 billion against a funding requirement of $6.5 billion. The allocated amount for strategic fuel reserves will not be adequate in meeting the Ministry’s target of having fuel reserves that cover three months of the country’s fuel requirements as per the International Energy Programme (IEP) requirements. The maintenance of adequate petroleum reserves and stocks remain a strategic imperative for any crude oil importing country and therefore should be prioritised.

COMMITTEE OBSERVATIONS, ISSUES AND CONCERNS

The Committee noted that the Ministry got an overall budget which is 58% lower than what it had requested for. The major shortfall is on strategic fuel reserves and capital grants that were allocated 22% and 30% respectively of the Ministry’s budget requirements for 2023. The following are some of the Committee’s observations and concerns with respect to the Ministry of Energy and Power Development’s budget and the possible implications of the 2023 budget allocation to the Ministry’s operations and the energy sector.

Goods and Services - The Ministry was allocated ZWL$1.394 billion against a funding requirement of ZWL$1.735 billion for goods and services. The amount allocated represents 80% of the funding requirement for Ministry’s operations such as training and development expenses. The Ministry needs to continually train its staff due to high staff turnover. For a number of years, the Committee has raised concern that Treasury was not making adequate provision for Ministry operations. In 2023, Goods and Services is one of the major sub-head in the Ministry’s operations. The Committee appreciates the improvement in funding for goods and services that is a key sub head item in the Ministry operations.

Capital Transfers - Treasury allocated ZWL$6 billion for capital grants to the parastatals under the Ministry of Energy and Power Development against a funding requirement of $19.8 billion.  Of the Ministry’s capital grant allocation, Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) got ZWL$3 billion (27%) of a requirement of ZWL$11.2 billion. This is for VAT payments to Sino hydro for the expansion of Hwange Units 7 & 8. The cumulative outstanding VAT refund in 2022 is ZWL$8.434 billion (US$12,895,490.53) against a 2023 proposed budget estimate of ZWL$3 billion (US$4 580 922).  Assuming no further payments are done in 2022, the Vat refund due in 2023 is US$16,076,261.23. This leaves a funding gap of US$11,458,876.61. The amount allocated falls short of the Ministry requirements and this will likely affect the finalization of work at Hwange Units 7 and 8. The finalization of the expansion works are critical especially in light of the power challenges currently experienced in the country for the past few months as the additional power will offset the current power deficits experienced in the country.  The capital grant will also cater for the promotion of the Ministry’s renewable projects under the Rural Electrification Agency. REA will get ZWL$1 billion for installation of solar systems and construction of biogas digesters. Whilst the Committee applauds Treasury for the allocation, the amount allocated represent only 11% of what the Ministry had requested from Treasury.

Strategic Fuel Reserves - Strategic Stocks are an important component of any government policy package aimed at coping with severe fuel supply disruptions. Disruptions to the availability of fuel often results in economic losses besides social inconveniences.The Ministry’s desire is to reach 30 days’ cover in 2023 to enable the Government to meaningfully intervene in the event of fuel supply disruptions on the market. The Ministry of Finance and Economic Development is committed to achieving 60 days’ cover while best practice is 90 days cover. The allocated ZWL$1.45 billion falls far short of the requirement of ZWL$53.397 billion.

  • In previous years, there was a the “Strategic Fuel Reserve Fund” established in terms of Section 18 of the Public Finance Management Act for the purposes of procuring strategic stocks. The Minister of Finance and Economic Development, in his 2021 National Budget Statement, directed that all revenue retention funds be surrendered to Treasury. The Ministry complied with this directive and this revenue is now going to the Exchequer like all other Government Revenue.
  • In the 2023 budget, MOEPD had proposed ZWL6.512 billion which regrettably was grossly understated as it is capable of procuring about 10 million litres only at the current exchange rate. The allocated funds are therefore not adequate to build up the strategic reserve stocks to the targeted levels. The Ministry will have to engage Treasury to avail funds to procure meaningful quantities of strategic reserves since Treasury is collecting the strategic levy.

Rural Electrification Fund (REF) - The Ministry noted with concern that REF has not been receiving its share of the foreign currency revenue collected by ZETDC from customers billed in foreign currency. The non-disbursement has occurred despite the existence of a Statutory Instrument that specifies what the money should be used for. Consultations with ZESA revealed that the failure to disburse the money to REA is beyond ZESA’s control because of myriad of challenges the company has been facing, some of which include non-payment of bills by almost all local authorities and the need to procure critical inputs in electricity generation such as diesel and coal which are all paid in foreign currency whilst tariffs for the majority of customers are billed in Zimbabwe Dollars. The problem is worsened by the delay by Government in approving electricity tariffs.

Zambezi River Authority (ZRA) - This is a legacy debt which the Government of Zimbabwe through the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development made a commitment to settle with monthly installments of US$300 000  from November 2021 and was upped to US$400 000 from February 2022. The debt which started off at about US$16.9 million is due to be completely liquidated at the end of 2024. In the initial expenditure ceiling announced in the Budget Call Circular, only ZWL$1 billion could be allocated to ZRA but the final allocation saw the amount being doubled to ZWL$2 billion for 2023 and the Committee is grateful of this.

Energy projects in general - The Budget Statement indicates that the 2023 budget will allocate additional investments to complete the Hwange 7 and 8 project which was reported to be at 95% complete in October 2022. The statement is silent on the development of new projects such as Batoka Hydropower Scheme and several IPP initiated renewable energy projects.

Recommendation - In light of the analysis of the Ministry of Energy and Power Development’s budget analysis and issues raised, the Committee recommends the following measures that it feels will raise revenue in the sector and contribute to sustainable energy supply.

None and late disbursement of allocated budgets has become a perennial problem in the country’s budget system. This trend implies that Ministry’s activities also suffer from the failure by Treasury to timeously release funds allocated in the budgets. For example, in the 2022 budget, as at 31 October 2022, the Ministry had spent about 57% of the total budget. It is therefore recommended that in 2023, Treasury should meet its side of the bargain by timeously releasing allocated funds to the Ministry. 

          The Committee reiterates the importance of providing funding for strategic fuel stocks and having considered Zimbabwe’s own situation in terms of risk exposure and the associated effects resulting from any disruptions in the fuel supply chain. The Committee recommends that Ministry of Finance jointly manage the Strategic Fuel Fund together with Ministry of Energy and Power Development to ensure that all the funds are used for the procurement of strategic fuel reserves.  In addition, the Committee recommends that the Ministry submits reports to Parliament semi-annually to update Members on total amount collected and fuel reserves procured.

          The Committee noted with concern the deteriorating electricity supply in the country following reports of low water levels at Kariba Dam, which is threatening shutting down power generation at Kariba Power Station. In light of the challenges faced at Kariba Power Station, the Committee recommends that ZPC comes up with ways of increasing electricity generation from other existing power plants and scale up investment in renewable energy sources especially at government institutions. This will help in creating a vibrant renewable energy market in the country. Alternatively, the Committee recommends that ZESA should consider securing additional power imports and for electricity imported, the tariffs must cost reflective. If the government wants to subsidise, there should be budgetary support to that effect.

          The Committee notes with concern that whilst most customers of electricity pay in the local currency, critical inputs such as coal and diesel are paid  for in foreign currency. In light of this, the Committee appreciates that although it is not feasible to charge electricity exclusively in foreign currency, ZESA should devise ways of increasing the share of customers paying in US$. This can be done through offering incentives to customers paying in US dollars.

          Consultations with MOEPD and ZESA revealed that current electricity tariffs for both USD and Zimbabwe Dollar customers are below the cost recovery tariff levels.  To address this, the 2023 budget should have prioritized the formulation of an electricity pricing policy. In addition, the Committee recommends that to mitigate the country’s dependency on imports, the Government must support the IPPs by giving them import parity tariffs in US Dollars.

Conclusion - The Portfolio Committee on Energy and Power Development is of the view that the energy sector is a key enabler for the success of the NDS1. Failure to implement the infrastructure and development projects such as the rural electrification projects, Hwange Units 7 and 8 expansion projects will inevitably impact on the success of the NDS1 and regress the achievements that have been realised to date.  I thank you.

          HON. BIG. GEN. (RTD.) MAYIHLOME: On a point of order. May I bring to your attention that the Committee on Defence, Home Affairs and Security Services has not presented its report, all because we only met the Ministry of Defence this morning. They were incapacitated to meet us last week. We are ready to present the Home Affairs report but the Defence aspect was not ready. We will only be ready to present on Thursday, if that can be recorded. It is not deliberate. It was beyond our control. That is the situation regarding the Committee on Defence, Home Affairs and Security Services. The report has not been completed. I thank you.

          HON. KASHIRI: Thank you for giving me the opportunity to present a report on behalf of the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure Development. Unfortunately, Hon. Gorerino has had an emergency, his wife has been hospitalised. So he has asked me to present this report before the House.

Introduction

The Portfolio Committee on Transport and Infrastructural Development (hereafter referred to as the Committee) plays an oversight role over the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development (hereafter referred to as the Ministry). The Ministry’s mandate is to provide and manage transport and transport related infrastructure and services through the development of policies and regulations for the transport sector. Transport, Infrastructure and Utilities is one of the key national priorities under the National Development Strategy 1 with the Ministry central to the Transport related infrastructure.

Following the presentation of the 2023 National Budget by the Minister of Finance and Economic Development on Thursday 24 November 2022, the Committee conducted post budget consultations. The post budget consultations held virtually included hearings from the Ministry and State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs) under the Ministry. SOEs under the Ministry include the Zimbabwe National Roads Administration (ZINARA), Air Zimbabwe, National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ), Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe (CAAZ), Central Mechanical and Equipment Department (CMED), Traffic Safety Council of Zimbabwe.

The pre and post budget consultations, indepth analysis of the 2023 budget documents and National Development Strategy 1 (NDS1) as well as the Committee’s oversight activities during 2022 and in previous years informs the Committee’s analysis of the 2023 National Budget presented in this report.

Ministry’s strategies and contribution to NDS1 sector outcomes.

The Ministry’s selected NDS1 targets include:

Increase the number of kilometres of road network converted to meet Southern Africa Transport and Communications Commission (SATCC) Standards from 5% to 10% by 2025.

Increase the number of kilometres of road networking in good condition from 14702km to 24500km by 2025.

Increase the proportion of track meeting set standards (Track Quality Index) from 57% in 2020 to 68% by 2025.

Increasing freight cargo moved from 2.6 million tonnes per annum in 2020 to 6.7 million tonnes per annum by 2025.

Analysis of the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure Budget

Review of the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure Development 2022 Budget Performance

The Ministry has a revised budget estimate of ZWL$ 107.3 billion (5.6% of 2022 revised budget) compared to an original budget estimate of ZWL$60.8 billion (6.3% of the overall budget). Following the supplementary budget in July 2022, the Ministry’s budget increased by only 76.5% whereas the total budget increased by 189.4%. However, on a positive note the Ministry utilised ZWL$67.9 billion (63.2% of the Ministry’s revised budget) as at 30 September 2022 which is comparable to the overall utilisation of 64.3%. 

As at end of September 2022, the Ministry’s largest programme, the Road Infrastructure and Transportation programme had utilised 68.4% of the programme’s budget which is equivalent to 94% of the Ministry’s expenditure at that point. Policy and Administration has utilised 29.3% of the programme’s budget and 3.4% of the Ministry’s expenditure. Rail and Aviation Infrastructure Development & Services had utilised 29.9% of the programme’s budget equivalent to 2.6 of the Ministry’s expenditure as at 30 September 2022. Inland Waters Infrastructure and Transportation’s expenditure is a paltry 12.4% and equivalent to 0.1% of the Ministry’s expenditure at that point. There is over reliance on the Road Infrastructure and Transportation with little investment in alternative transport sources such as Rail which could be cost effective for transportation of bulky goods. 

Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure Development 2023 Budget

For 2023, the Ministry has a budget of ZWL$144.6 billion (3.2% of the 2023 national budget) leaving a funding gap of ZWL$604.5 billion. There is a shift in prioritisation from the Transport to other sectors as shown by the sector receiving only 3.2% compared to a revised 5.6% in 2022. The Ministry’s budget increased by 34.7% only in 2023 compared to an overall national budget increase of 133%.  

Additional resources for the Ministry in the form of Statutory and other resources are ZWL$94.7 billion. Road Infrastructure and Transportation has the bulk of the resources at ZWL$84.5 billion (89.1%) with Rail and Aviation Infrastructure Development and Services taking up the rest at, ZWL$10.3 billion (10.9%).

Program Classification of the Ministry 2023 Budget

There isn’t much change in terms of the Ministry’s prioritisation with Road Infrastructure and Transportation allocated 120.4 billion (83%) same as in 2021. Rail and Aviation Infrastructure Development and Services is second with a budget allocation of ZWL$12.2 billion which is 9% of the Ministry’s budget. The Policy and Administration with a budget allocation of ZWL$10.7 billion (7%) while Inland Waters Infrastructure and Transportation taking up the remainder of the budget with ZWL$1.2 billion (1%).

Economic Classification of the Ministry Budget

Acquisition of non-financial assets has the largest share of the Ministry’s budget with ZWL$134.7 billion (93% of the budget) reflecting the capital intensive nature of the Ministry’s operations. The Ministry has set aside ZWL$9.9 billion (7% of the budget) for the acquisition of financial use

Buildings and structures which falls under acquisition of non-financial assets classification dominate the Ministry’s budget with ZWL$107.6 billion (74.4% of Ministry budget allocation). Capital grants have an allocation of ZWL$20.4 billion (14.1%) slightly below the 15.6% set aside in 2022. Other fixed assets budget allocation is ZWL$4.2 billion (2.9%) which is a slight increase from the 2.5% in 2022. On the other hand, transport equipment has a budget allocation of ZWL$2 billion (1.4%) up from 0.5% in 2022. The other machinery and equipment have a budget allocation of ZWL$515.5 million (0.4%) which is the same share as in 2022.

The budget allocation of use of goods and services is at ZWL$5 billion (3.4 % of the Ministry’s budget) and is closely followed by compensation of employees at ZWL$4.9 billion (3.4%) which is more than double the 1.4% in 2022. Other expenses have a small budget allocation of ZWL$17.2 million (0.01%).

The Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development presented a total budget proposal of ZWL749 billion for 2023 but was allocated ZWL$144.6 billion leaving a funding gap of ZWL$604.5 billion. This represents 19.3% of the Ministry’s bid compared to 2021 where the Ministry received 75% of the budget.

Capital expenditure received ZWL$134.7 billion (18.5% of the Ministry’s bid) against capital requirements of ZWL$728.5 billion leaving the largest funding gap of ZWL$593.7 billion. Operations received a budget of ZWL$5 billion (53.6% of the Ministry’s bid) against a bid of ZWL$9.3 billion which leaves a funding gap of ZWL$4.3 billion. Compensation of Employees fared better receiving ZWL$4.9 billion (142% of the Ministry’s bid) or ZWL$1.5 billion above the requested figure of ZWL$3.4 billion.  The large funding gap, coupled with high inflation, compromises the implementation of most of the transport projects unless other innovative financing mechanisms are found.

Policy and Administration

The Policy and Administration programme (Programme 1) was allocated ZWL$10.7 billion of which ZWL$7.8 billion is for CMED capital grants (procurement of buses) against a proposal of ZWL$11.2 billion. The requested ZWL$11.2 billion was meant to cover for the Ministry’s administrative costs. The Programme provides support to the Minister’s and the Permanent Secretary’s Offices. Other Departments under Programme 1 include Human Resource, Finance and Administration, IT, Audit and Legal Services that provide services to the Ministry.

The Committee is concerned about the funding gaps under this programme will have implications on monitoring of projects especially for the Audit Department. The Committee is also worried about the inadequate resources allocated to the Audit Department which is essential in monitoring the financial administration and procedures to ensure among other requirements that adequate internal checks and controls are observed in line with Section 80 of the Public Finance Management Act [Chapter 22:19]. The Audit Department is also required to assess the cost-effectiveness of any projects undertaken by the Ministry which is an important function that will suffer when adequate resources are not allocated.

Roads Infrastructure and Transportation

Roads Infrastructure and Transportation Programme received a budget of ZWL$120.4 billion against requirements of ZWL$728.5 billion or 16.7% of its requirements.  The capital budget was allocated ZWL$113.2 billion against request of ZWL$722 billion leaving funding gap of ZWL$608.8 billion. Operations and maintenance received ZWL$3.5 billion instead of the ZWL$6.5 billion requested leaving a funding gap of almost ZWL$3 billion. 

The Ministry is carrying the following outstanding payments into the 2023 budget year. Harare-Beitbridge has outstanding payments of US$61 million and ZWL$39.7 billion. The Emergency Road Rehabilitation Programme Phase 2 (ERRP2) has an outstanding payment of ZWL$41.6 billion. Additionally, the Government is expected to start repayment of the US$350 million, Harare-Kanyemba loan facility in 2023 with US$65million expected to be paid starting in April 2023. The Mbudzi Interchange has accrued a compensation bill amounting to US$34.5 million for land acquisition which was not budgeted for.

The Committee’s observation is that the funding gap in the Road and Transport programme is too large for the Ministry to undertake any meaningful road infrastructure projects in 2023. Equally concerning for the Committee is the carry-over of some payments to 2023 which is likely to affect contractors and stall the positive progress that had been achieved in the road sector. The Committee notes that the capital budget is not enough to recapitalise CMED and DDF to be the leading road contractors in the ongoing ERRP exercise as recommended by the Committee.

This huge funding gap is coming at a time that most of the sections of the country’s roads are deteriorating and hence the Ministry should be doing more than the planned 10,000 km stipulated if the country is to meet the NDS1 target to increase the number of kilometres of roads in condition from 14,702 km to 24,500 km by 2025.

On a positive note, the Committee applauds the Ministry of Finance for allocating the Ministry ZWL$6.5 billion towards the completion of the following programmes, Transport Management Centre, VID Chitungwiza Inspection Workshop, New VID Beitbridge and VID Forbes Office Block. The Committee encourages Treasury to disburse funds in time to minimise the impact of fluctuations in prices of building materials.

The Committee notes the dire situation at Central Vehicle Registry (CVR), Vehicle Inspectorate Department (VID) and Road Motor Transportation (RMT) where these entities often run out of consumables and raw materials to provide basic services. As such, the Committee is of the view that the Ministry should be allowed to retain part of the revenue generated to fund operations.

Rail and Aviation Infrastructure Development and Services

The two sectors were allocated ZWL$12.2 billion against a request of ZWL$61.8 billion. For rail and the rehabilitation of rail infrastructure, the Ministry together with NRZ requested ZWL21.4 billion but received ZWL$4 billion. The Committee notes that this is adequate to carry out the required maintenance works on the existing infrastructure and at the same time allow for discussion with partners on the recapitalisation efforts of Government. The Committee notes that a functioning rail system will reduce pressure on the country’s roads and reduce the cost of doing business.

In terms of aviation, the development of airport infrastructure received an allocation of ZWL$3.1 billion against a request of ZWL$8.4 billion. The Committee observes that the amount is 36% of the requested amount and is not adequate to cover the required works, some of which are being carried over from the previous year 2022.

Air Zimbabwe requested approximately ZWL$20.3 billion but only received ZWL$4.5 billion meant to assist in the entity’s turnaround strategy and catapult the airline to meet its targets and make critical payments to institutions such as IATA. The Committee is concerned that there is little investment towards the Air Zimbabwe turnaround strategy. Additionally, the Committee is worried at the slow pace in finding suitable partners for NRZ and Air Zimbabwe.

Inland Waters Infrastructure and Transportation

The Inland Waters Infrastructure department requested ZWL$407.4 million but received ZWL$64 million leaving a shortfall of ZWL$343.4 million. The situation is worse for Public Sector Investment Programme (PSIP) with the department receiving a budget allocation of ZWL$588.9 million equivalent to 11.8% of the Ministry’s ZWL$5 billion bid. The Committee notes that the department has been consistently underfunded even in previous years thereby limiting the commercial benefits that can be accrued from Inland Waters infrastructure. The Committee is also concerned that in years that the department has been given a better allocation - disbursements have been poor. For example, the two PSIP projects that received funding in 2022 at Tugwi-Mukorsi Dam, namely the Control Tower and F14 staff houses stopped when Government failed to pay contractors outstanding invoices of US$41,253 and US$54,133 respectively as at 30 June 2022.

Recommendations

Increase budget allocation to the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure Development

The Committee is concerned by the shift in prioritisation away from the Ministry to other sectors. This has the seen the Ministry’s budget allocation increasing by only 34.7% only in 2023 compared to an overall National Budget increase of 133%.   The Ministry’s share of the budget also decreased from a revised 5.6% in 2022 to 3.2% in 2023.

The Committee calls upon the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development to increase the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure Development to at least ZWL$250 billion in line with the average budget increase. This will allow the Ministry to undertake the planned infrastructure projects and achieve the NDS1 set targets.

  1. Payment of Outstanding Projects

The Committee recommends payment of outstanding balances to contractors to allow for the resumption of projects that have been stopped and ensure timely completion of all projects that have been initiated. The Committee is of the view that there should be a balance between the currency stabilisation efforts and the completion of ongoing transport projects.

Roads Infrastructure and Transportation

The Committee recommends that the bulk of the additional resources should go towards the Roads Infrastructure and Transportation with capital expenditure prioritised. The Committee recommends increased funding to the rehabilitation of the following roads:

  1.     Murehwa-Madicheche;
  2.     Darwin-Mukumbura and Bhinya roads;
  3.      Urban roads
  4.      Ngaone road in Chipinge.
  5.     Gwanda-Maphisa road
  6.      Dualisation of the Boterekwa Road
  7.    Nkayi-Bulawayo Road

Ring-fencing Traffic Safety Council Levies

  In the past, the Committee has suggested the ring fencing of the remittances to Traffic Safety Council and insurance levies for all transport-related insurances. The Committee recommends that the Government should use part of the proceeds from these levies towards fencing along highways.

Recapitalisation of CMED and DDF

The Committee recommends that part of the additional resources recapitalise CMED and DDF so that they effectively participate in the Emergency Road Rehabilitation Programme.

National Railway of Zimbabwe (NRZ)

Additional resources should also be channelled towards increasing the amount allocated to NRZ to service and maintain its locomotives and wagons, and remove speed cautions on railway tracks which affect NRZ's deliveries.

Air Zimbabwe

                   Although the Committee acknowledge progress being made in Air Zimbabwe turnaround, the Committee calls upon the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development to allocate funds to Air Zimbabwe to enable it to acquire smaller aircraft that can be used to service domestic and regional routes.

Retention of Funds

                   Although the Committee appreciates the PFMA requirements for all funds to be remitted to the Consolidated Revenue Fund, the Committee recommends that Treasury should allocate back at least 5% of that to CVR, VID and RMT to fund their operations. This will enable the departments to efficiently collect revenue that will be used to ensure quality services to the public, business and other stakeholders.

Road Accident Fund

                   The Committee applauds the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development for taking on board some of the Committee’s suggestions to redirect and ring-fence 20% of the Third-Party Insurance Premiums collected from locally registered motor vehicles to the Consolidated Revenue Fund for the benefit of road accident victims. However, the Committee recommends the prioritisation of the setting up of a fully-fledged Road Accident Fund in 2023.

Transformation of ZINARA

                   As part of restructuring of State Owned Enterprises, the Committee calls for the transformation of ZINARA from a Road Administrator to a Road Authority in 2023.

  1. Disbursements of Funds

                   The Committee recommends timely disbursement of funds to ensure projects are completed on time, particularly to the Inland Waters Infrastructure and Transportation that has traditionally suffered from low budget allocations and disbursements.

Conclusion

While the Committee appreciates the tight fiscal space the country is faced with, the Committee is of the view that transport infrastructure should remain a top priority considering the central role that transport plays as a catalyst to economic development. The Committee therefore calls for increased resources for the Ministry to build on the progress that has been achieved thus far.

Annexure 1: Summary of Ministry Budget Allocation and Bid

 

2023 APPROVED

BUDGET ZWL$

MINISTRY PROPOSAL

ZWL$

SHORTFALL ZWL$

Compensation of Employees

4,856,120,000

3,414,207,992

1,441,912,008

Policy and

Administration

10,708,608,000

11,242,441,990.00

(533,833,990.00)

Rail and Aviation

Infrastructure

Development and

Services

12,247,500,000

442,508,655.57

11,357,516,146.43

Inland Waters

Infrastructure and

Transportation

1,197,674,000

5,445,462,800.00

(4,247,788,800.00

Operations and

Maintenance

 

5,000,000,000

9326358509.27

(4326358509.27

P.1 : Policy and

Administration

695,774,000

2298717250.00

(1602943250.00)

Ministers' and

Permanent

Secretary's Office

 

363,000,000.00

 

Human Resource

Management &

Development

 

401,507,250.

 

Financial Management &

Administration

 

616,000,000.00

 

Internal Audit

 

426,552,000.00

 

Legal Services

 

317,658,000.00

 

Information

Technology

 

174,000,000.00

 

 

 

 

 

P.2: Roads

Infrastructure and

Transportation

3,491,645,000

6,483,316,000.00

(2991671000.00)

Road Infrastructure

Development

 

 

 

o/w road

maintenance

 

 

 

Road Transport

Safety and Standards

 

6,483,316,000.00

 

 

 

 

 

P.3: Rail and Aviation

Infrastructure

Development and

Services

409,835,000

136,902,459.27

272,932,540.73

Aviation

Infrastructure

Development &

Services

 

75,000,000.00

 

Rail Infrastructure

Development &

Services

 

61,902,459.27

 

 

 

 

 

P.4: Inland Waters

Infrastructure and

Transportation

385,514,000

407,422,800.00

(21,908,800.00)

Inland Waters

Infrastructure

Development

 

 

200,000,000.00

 

Inland Waters Safety

And Standards

 

103,711,400.00

 

Marine Navigation

 

103,711,400.00

 

Capital

134,715,100,000

728,462,234,196.31

(593,747,134,196.31)

Policy and

Administration

9,206,000,000

1,118,588,000.00

8,087,412,000.00

Roads Infrastructure

And Transportation

$113,209,100,000

722,000,000,000.00

(608,790,900,000.00)

Rail and Aviation

Infrastructure

Development and

Services

11,700,000,000

305,606,196.31

11,394,393,803.69

Inland Waters

Infrastructure and

Transportation

600,000,000

5,038,040,000.00

(4438040000.00)

Appropriation

Total

144,571,220,000

749,027,937,437.57

(604,456,717,437.57)

 

Source: Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure 2022 Budget Analysis

          HON. T. MOYO: I move that the debate do now adjourn.

          HON. MAHLANGU: I second.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Debate to resume: Thursday, 8th December, 2022.

          On the motion of HON. T. MOYO, seconded by HON. MAHLANGU, the House adjourned at Twenty Minutes past Four o’clock p.m.

 

 

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