Former Finance Minister Tendai Biti told Parliament that Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube should pay special attention to education and health because had it not been for the education he got under President Robert Mugabe, he would be herding cattle somewhere in Tsholotsho.
He said this in his contribution to the 2023 Finance budget where he made five recommendations to Ncube:
- Express this budget in US dollars. It is clear that your budget was US$4.5 billion. So just say it as it is.
- Make timeous actual disbursements to ministries.
- Pay special attention to education and health as these are drivers of the nation. Speaker, when I went to University in 1986, the esteemed Minister was my senior. He was doing his Masters when I was doing my first degree. I know for sure that if he had not gotten the education that President Mugabe gave him, he would be herding cattle somewhere in Tsholotsho.
- Scrap the auction. I read something on the Reserve Bank talking of opening the auction on the 9th January 2023. Please scrap the auction, scrap the US dollar and pursue fiscal consolidation, the issue of debt and issue of title deeds to people. Reduce and scrap VAT and the IMTT.
- Lastly, please respect the budget.
Ncube presented a $4.5 trillion budget where he allocated $787.8 billion to education with $631.3 billion going to the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education.
Health was allocated $473.8 billion, which translated to 11% of the total budget far below the Abuja Declaration target of 15%.