Mashudu Netsianda, Senior Reporter
TREASURY has allocated $11 billion to the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) to carry out its activities that include conducting by-elections next year.
The by-elections, which will be held during the first quarter of 2022, were necessitated by recalls of MDC-T members from Parliament and local authorities while other seats became vacant through death.
A total $7,75 billion was allocated for preparatory works for the 2023 elections while $3,25 billion was for holding of by-elections next year.
Presenting the 2022 National Budget statement in Parliament yesterday, Finance and Economic Development Minister, Professor Mthuli Ncube said: “The country will be holding General Elections in 2023 as enshrined in the Constitution and preparatory works (delimitation, voter registration and inspection) will be undertaken to ensure success of this constitutional requirement. The 2022 National Budget is, therefore, setting aside $7,75 billion for the respective preparatory works.
“Additionally, Government is also allocating $3,25 billion for the holding of by-elections for vacant constituencies in 2022.”
Prof Ncube said the 2022 National Budget has also set aside resources to capacitate other independent commissions to undertake their constitutional mandates.
Zimbabwe Media Commission (ZMC) was allocated $510 million, Zimbabwe Gender Commission got $497,6 million, Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission (ZHRC) was allocated $403, 9 million while the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission (NPRC) was given $441,3 million.
The Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zac) was allocated $931, 7 million while the Zimbabwe Land Commission got $1,8 billion.
“Government is capacitating institutions of governance such as the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission, National Peace and Reconciliation Commission, Judicial Service Commission and others to execute their mandate including decentralising services to local levels,” said Prof Ncube.
“To date, all Commissions have been capacitated with tools of trade such as vehicles, furniture and equipment, with Zacc, Zimbabwe Media Commission and Zimbabwe Gender Commission, having been provided with office space for their head offices. The 2022 National Budget allocates resources for further capacitation of all Commissions to undertake their constitutional obligations.”
The Minister said the fight against corruption is being enhanced through capacitation of respective institutions such as Zacc and the relevant law enforcement agencies.
“Where necessary and feasible, Government is decentralising these institutions across the country to enable them to effectively undertake their mandate,” said Prof Ncube.
He said as part of implementing the National Anti-Corruption Strategy, Government will expedite the development of legislation to protect whistle-blowers. To improve implementation of governance reforms, in 2022, Prof Ncube said development partners pledged US$23,2 million in financial and technical assistance.
He said capacitation of Parliament to undertake its legislative and oversight role, is being prioritised under the National Budget, focusing on support in terms of remuneration, allowances, pensions and medical expenses, as well as support for research, inclusive of respective hardware/equipment.
Prof Ncube said financial support is also being extended to the Constituency Development Fund to enable MPs to implement targeted projects and programmes aimed at addressing developmental disparities among communities across the country.
“In this regard, $2,4 billion has been set aside for Constituency Development Fund and a further $300 million has been provided for construction of Constituency Information Centres for dissemination of parliamentary information to the citizens.
In total, $14,6 billion has been set aside for capacitation of Parliament, including support for transport services,” he said. — @mashnets