PARLIAMENT has bemoaned lack of funds due to the fragile economy, leading to its failure to partner with various stakeholders and civil society organisations in the budget formation.
Speaking at the just-ended pre-budget seminar in Victoria Falls, Speaker of the National Assembly Jacob Mudenda said Parliament had failed to involve different stakeholders in budget consultation.
“Section 28(5) of the Public Finance Management Act (22:19) also enjoins Parliament to involve various stakeholders, such as business and civil society organisations, as well as ordinary people in the budget formulation process,” he said.
“Sadly, Parliament has failed to fulfil this obligation for the second time in a row due to lack of funding from the fiscus.
“A budget without the input from the relevant stakeholders ceases to be a people’s budget.”
Mudenda said failure to involve the varied stakeholders undermined the legislature’s representative role and deprived citizens of their right to express their views.
“For Parliament to fulfil its obligations of representation legislative and oversight in this regard, it must be adequately funded,” he said.
“This will enable Parliament to reach out in both urban and rural areas, so that the budgetary making process encompasses the views of the public.”
However, in response Finance and Economic Development minister Patrick Chinamasa said the government was broke and did not have enough funds.
“There is nothing I can promise or give, the government has no money,” he said.
“Out of the little money that we get, most of it goes to wages leaving me with little money to work on.
“Now you are giving me a problem which assumes that l have money.
“Whom do you want to blame, let’s be fair.”
Mudenda said the pre-budget seminar was meant to assist the Finance and Economic Development ministry craft a 2015 budget which will promote industrial recovery in order to create wealth and employment.
It has to address the civil service salary bill, lure domestic and foreign investment by calling for refined investment and indigenisation laws.
The budget is expected to articulate ways and means to extinguish foreign and domestic debts, also reduce high import bill vis-à-vis export revenue.