THE Foreign Affairs and International Trade ministry has exhausted its 2022 budget for salaries.
Foreign Affairs ministry secretary James Manzou said the budget was exhausted in August when he appeared before the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Foreign Affairs last week.
“The current 2022 salary budget was exhausted in August 2022 resulting in the ministry getting funding from unallocated reserves until the end of the financial year,” Manzou said.
Reports in the past have exposed how the ministry was underfunded to keep operations running at foreign missions.
There have been reports of Ambassadors and other diplomats going for months without salaries.
Some Zimbabwean embassies have been sued or evicted from their residences over non-payment of rentals.
According to Manzou, the 2023 budget allocation ceiling for the ministry was inadequate to fund operations at foreign missions.
“Allow me to draw to the attention of this August committee to the fact that the Treasury allocated a resource envelope ceiling of $56 679 913 000 for the year 2023 against the ministry’s proposed budget of $110 300 000 000,” he said.
“The current budget allocation for 2023 is actually less than $2.727 billion that was allocated to the ministry for the 2022 fiscal year.”
“The ministry is in discussion with the Public Service Commission (PSC) regarding the conditions of service for our staff at missions. It is the ministry’s hope that this bid will cater for the anticipated adjustments both at head office and missions.”