Is Zimbabwe’s health allocation 14.9% or 12.7%?


Zimbabwe Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube yesterday allocated $117.7 billion to the Ministry of Health and said this was 14.9% of the country’s total budget.

Zimbabwe fact-checking organization Zimfact argues that Ncube’s allocation was not 14.9% but 12.7%.

Why does this matter? If the allocation was 14.9% Zimbabwe would have met the Abuja Declaration which called on African countries to allocate 15% of their budgets to health.

Here is Zimfact’s argument:

BUDGET 2022: Mthuli overstates health allocation

CLAIM: Health allocated 14.9% of the 2022 national budget

Source: Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube in his 2022 budget speech.

VERDICT: Incorrect. The health allocation of ZW$117.7 billion is 12.7% of the total ZW$927.3 billion 2022 budget.

Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube presented Zimbabwe’s 2022 national budget on Thursday, 25 November 2021.

In total, the government plans to spend ZW$927.3 billion in 2022, up from ZW$509 billion this year.

According to Ncube’s budget statement, the health budget for 2022 is ZW$117.7 billion. This is the third largest allocation, after agriculture and primary and secondary education, which got ZW$124 billion each.

In his budget speech, Ncube claimed that the health allocation amounted to nearly 15% of the total budget, which would comply with the Abuja Declaration.

“The 2022 National Budget has allocated ZWL$117.7 billion to the Ministry of Health and Child Care, which represents 14.9% of the Budget,” Ncube said.

This is incorrect. The health budget actually accounts for 12.7% of the total ZW$927.3 billion planned expenditure for 2022.

The Abuja Declaration is a commitment made in 2001 by African heads of state to commit 15% of their annual budgets to funding health.


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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.


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