Zimbabwe will in future intensify performance-based budgeting whereby departments which properly account for their expenditures will be rewarded, while those which misappropriate funds will have their budgets cut short, the Treasury chief has said.
Addressing Parliamentarians at the august House Wednesday, Finance Minister, Mthuli Ncube, said performance-based budgeting needed to be effectively implemented to ensure accountability.
Ncube was responding to Norton legislator, Temba Mliswa, who had asked how comfortable he was in continuously giving monies to government ministries that do not account for the disbursements.
“Honourable Minister, how comfortable are you with continuously giving monies to ministries which are not accounting?” asked Mliswa.
“My question to the Minister is how do we continuously give money to ministries yet they do not account and there are bad audit reports from the Auditor General’s office. How comfortable are you with that?”
Ncube, who acknowledged the legislator’s question as a fair one, said performance-based budgeting should be the way to go.
“In terms of budgeting in my previous job we used to cut back on budgets for departments that did not account in full on how they had used resources or badly used resources because we had a performance-based budgeting process,” he said.
“But in a sense, this is what we have migrated to. It is a performance-based budget and unfortunately, I do not think that we can do it immediately but over time we should be able to say on this specific programme, you underperformed or abused funds. Therefore, why should we give you additional resources but we should cut back. We hope that this new approach will help us get there but we are not yet there, unfortunately.”
The latest Auditor-General reports showed gross abuse and misappropriation of funds by government departments and parastatals which continue to drain the fiscus every year.
As part of minimising corruption at state entities, the government has since enacted the Public Entities Corporate Governance Act.