Opposition MPs on Thursday clashed with Justice Minister, Ziyambi Ziyambi over what they considered an illegal supplementary budget that was before the August House for debate.
Former Finance Minister, Tendai Biti (MDC Alliance) sparked controversy when he pointed out an illegality in the budget over currency changes. He said:
If the Finance minister is bringing in a brand new budget for 2019, then that would be acceptable, but this cannot be called a supplementary budget if the minister is adding money onto the original 2019 budget, which was in US dollars.
The point is that after introduction of SI 142 (2019), the US dollar was demonetised and we now have a new currency.
On December 22, we passed a US dollar budget and so Ncube should come up with a new budget for 2019 in Zimbabwean dollars or go back to the original US dollar budget and convert it to Zimbabwean dollars at the interbank rate and then provide a supplementary budget.
However, Ziyambi dismissed Biti’s claims, pointing out that there was no illegality at all. Said Ziyambi:
What happened is that when we introduced the original US$ budget, the RTGS (real time gross settlement) balances for that particular day were equivalent to the US dollar and the opening balance of the budget was equivalent to the interbank rate of that particular date.
Mliswa spoke in support of Biti and accused ZANU PF MPs of lacking seriousness. He then stormed out of parliament after accusing a Lupane West MP Martin Khumalo (Zanu PF), of corruption.
MDC MPs at some point boycotted the debate, only to have a change of heart later.
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