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Appropriation Bill read for first time
The Herald (Zimbabwe)
August 18, 2005

The Appropriation (Supplementary) Bill that seeks to give effect to the supplementary budget designed to address shortfalls arising from this year's national budget was yesterday read for the first time in Parliament.

The Bill was referred to the Parliamentary Legal Committee for consideration.

It was presented in the chamber after the House adopted a motion moved by Minister of Finance Dr Herbert Murerwa seeking leave of the Parliament to bring the Bill.

Deputy Minister of Finance Cde David Chapfika told parliamentarians that out of the total supplementary budget of $ 6,6 trillion the House would only approve $ 3,4 trillion with the remaining $ 3,2 trillion being dealt with through a ministerial warrant.

Cde Chapfika said this while responding to issues raised by the legislators during the debate on a motion seeking leave to bring the Bill into the House.

He said the supplementary budget had been necessitated by several factors that included the unforeseen drought situation.

The deputy minister said apart from drought mitigation measures, part of the money from the supplementary budget would be channelled to malaria control programmes as well as feeding of under privileged children.

Government, he said, had directed ministries to cut their foreign trips as a way of serving the scarce foreign currency and emphasis was being put on a cash budget system.

Cde Chapfika said since the agricultural sector was the key in the turning around of the economy, trillions of dollars would be channelled to the crucial sector through the financial institutions.

"We call upon the MDC to assist the Government by desisting from calling for sanctions while the corporate world should restore work ethics and discipline," he said.

Contributing to the same debate, Masvingo South MP Cde Walter Mzembi (Zanu PF) said measures should be put in place to ensure that financial resources to the farming community were channelled to selected groups that would be tasked with growing particular crops.

The ruling party lawmaker said authorities at both district and provincial levels should then supervise the targeted farmers, adding that there should be a recovery model to ensure that farmers repaid their loans.

Cde Mzembi said drought mitigation should become feature of every national budget in view of the recurrent droughts which the country has experienced over the past years.

He said Government should also give equal support to the mining sector which was crucial in the turning around of the economy.

Contributing to the debate, Mutare North MP Mr Giles Mutsekwa (MDC) said the Ministry of Finance should rein in on Government ministries and departments that overspend.

"There is so much lavish spending by various Governemnt ministries," he said.

The opposition legislator said there was also need to reduce the size of the Presidential motorcade which he said was consuming a lot of fuel, adding that the move would save the fuel.

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