Government Under Fire Over Unsanctioned Over-expenditure Of US$9.6 Billion

The Ministry of Finance and Economic Development yesterday came under fire for delaying to bring to Parliament condonation Bills for the over-expenditure of US$9.6 billion in the period between 2015 and 2018.

Acting chairperson of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) Edwin Mushoriwa accused the government of overspending and disregarding condonation rules, NewsDay Zimbabwe reports.

Finance ministry acting accountant-general Edwin Zvandasaraindicated that the government submitted supporting documents for the amendment of Appropriation Accounts to the Auditor-General (AG) on the 13th of this month instead of 2020.

Zvandasara who stood in for the ministry secretary George Guvamatanga said:

…those supporting documents are what we submitted on the 13th of July. Yes, the expectation is that when submitting accounts, there is need for supporting documents to support the audit, but the thinking was that the process would be done at the relevant ministries, but they requested it to be done at the central government level.

Marondera Central MP Caston Matewu said the government was not taking Parliament seriously adding that Guvamatanga is the one who had come to Parliament instead of Zvandasara. 

Guvamatanga who avoided Parliament after he allegedly interacted with someone who has COVID-19 was then summoned to appear before the PAC to explain the over-expenditures on August 14.

The PAC also gave the treasury seven days to give the AG’s Office all the documents it requires and to bring copies to Parliament.

Last month, Finance minister Mthuli Ncube requested condonation of unauthorised expenditure of ZWL$6.784 billion for 2019 and ZWL$100.7 billion for 2020.

On November 12, 2019, the government introduced a Financial Adjustments Bill which sought condonation for illegal government expenditure during the years 2015 to 2018 totalling US$9 638 602 782.

The Bill was introduced in the National Assembly, but it never progressed to the Second Reading Stage. It then lapsed in October 2020 when the 2019-20 parliamentary sessions ended.

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