Ministry of Home Affairs practically allocated only $900 000 for operations in 2016


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The Ministry of Home Affairs, under which key government departments like the police and immigration fall, was allocated the second highest amount of $396.97 million in the 2016 budget but employment costs will consume $371.7 million leaving it with only $25.3 million for operations.

Chairman of the Portfolio Committee on Defence and Home Affairs, Ronald Muderedzwa, said, however, the ministry is likely to get another $67.1 million from the Retention Fund but if its debts were paid first, it would remain with only $900 000 to run its operations for the entire year.

Interestingly, police require a staggering $250 million for fuel alone.

The ministry owes $66 million to ZESA, ZINWA, NetOne and TelOne.

 

Full contribution:

 

MINISTRY OF HOME AFFAIRS VOTE 18 ($396,974,000)

Mandate of the Ministry

1.1 The Ministry of Home Affairs is responsible for a number of core duties which are:

Promoting a secure and conducive environment through maintenance of law and order,

Combating corruption,

Migration management,

Timely registration and issuance of civil registration documents, and

Regulation of gaming and entertainment activities.

1.2    The Ministry is made up of one support department (Administration and General) and technical departments namely:

  • Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP).
  • Registrar General, and
  • Immigration Control,
  • The Ministry’s achievements during 2015

Major achievements during the 2015 financial year were:

  • Enactment of Trafficking in Persons Act, Chapter 9:25
  • Setting up of a self-sufficient passport production centre leading to reduction in queues,
  • Provision of e-visa application platform and electronic passport application.
  • Successful coordination of National Heroes Commemoration.
  • Purchased more than 100 vehicles and over 20 buses for the Ministry.
  • Uniforms for the Forces in the Ministry were adequately provided.
  • Computerized district registry offices to increase operational efficiency.
  • KGVI equipment was refurbished so that it can become self-sufficient in the production of passports and IDs and is yet to be commissioned.
  • Relaxed visa requirements for some unproblematic countries or nationalities.

Policy Priorities 2016-2018

The Ministry’s major policy priorities for the period are:

  • Debt clearance for the Ministry,
  • Completing the following prioritised projects namely:
  • Central Registry Offices
  • Maitengwe Border Post block,
  • CDMA
  • CID Headquarters
  • Eastlea flats and
  • Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS).

Global Overview and Analysis of the Ministry’s 2016  Budget

The Ministry was allocated $396,974,000 and is ranked second in the order of national priority allocation. However, this is a standstill budget given that $371, 698,000 caters for employment costs, leaving a balance of $25,276,000 for operations. Some of the funds amounting to $67,072,000 earmarked for funding the Ministry’s operations will come from statutory or Retention Fund in 2016.

This allocation of $396,974,000 is $8,152,773 short of the 2015 revised allocation for the Ministry implying that more operational challenges will be faced in 2016.

If all outstanding debts are to be paid first, only $900,000 will be left for operations and this amount is grossly inadequate for the Ministry to fulfill its constitutional mandate.

Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) alone requires $250,000,000 for fuel only, hence the budget has paralyzed the operations of the Ministry before the start of the 2016 financial year. Out of the $23,700,000 available $11,700,000 goes towards utilities’ service providers like ZESA, ZINWA and TELONE for the whole year. However, ZRP has an outstanding debt amounting to $66 million for utilities owed to ZESA, ZINWA, NETONE and TELONE. This outstanding debt has resulted in bad publicity/ image of the Ministry to its stakeholders.

Priority projects were allocated $6,400,000 but there are a number of projects which were not completed in 2015 due to non-release of funds and unavailability of the right materials for their completion. These projects include the CID headquarters and Central Registry. Central Registry was due to be completed by 30 November 2015 but is still incomplete. It was learnt that if these projects were completed the rental costs will be minimized. The $1,000,000 that was allocated for the completion of Central Registry is inadequate since $4,600,000 is required. More so, the little amount allocated may not be fully released thereby further delaying the completion of the Central Registry building which is the Ministry’s top priority project.

Your Committee learnt that ZRP requires $1 million to equip the printing department but Treasury ordered ZRP to use Retention Fund. However, the Retention Fund is already overstrained /congested with many other expenditure demands hence cannot fund projects. Primarily, the Retention Fund is there to support the administrative and other operational activities of the Ministry not to fund projects.

It was disturbing to note that CDMA project was also stalled at about 90% complete but needs to be prioritized because once completed, it will reduce utility bills. However, your Committee noted that this project was not prioritized in the 2016 budget allocation.

The forensic science laboratory which is housed in the CID headquarters needs to be fully equipped with modest equipment but it was learnt that the CID headquarters was stalled in 2015 to allow the completion of Central Registry which was never completed by 30 November 2015 deadline.

AFIS needs $4.2 million to be completed but it was not prioritized in the 2016 budget yet it is one of the high-impact programmes that will help to improve efficiency in the Ministry’s operation.

The Eastlea flats which are almost complete require very little funding to ease accommodation challenges but was not prioritised in the Ministry’s 2016 budget allocation.

Your Committee noted with concern that Treasury takes a long time to release the allocated funds thereby disturbing the Ministry’s planning and execution of activities.

Your Committee also learnt that Treasury did not consult the Ministry and factor in the Ministry’s priorities when it was allocating funds to various expenditure items for 2016 financial year.

Recommendations

  • In view of the above observations, your Committee made the following recommendations:
  • Treasury should consult with the Ministry in identifying major priority areas for funding.
  • All funds allocated should be timeously released to facilitate timely planning and smooth operations of the Ministry.
  • The debt and arrears owed to service providers like NETONE, ZINWA, TELONE and ZESA should be prioritized so that the government establishes a good working relationship with goods and service providers.
  • Special attention should also be given to Forensic Science laboratories which require specialist equipment.

High impact PSIP projects which are almost complete should be prioritized and adequate funds allocated must be released in full. These projects are:

  • Central Registry Offices
  • Maitengwe Border Post block,
  • CDMA
  • CID Headquarters
  • Eastlea flats and
  • Automated Fingerprint Identification System.

Departments should be allowed to continue running their Retention Fund so that they fund their operational needs. However, Treasury should not interfere with this Fund by overstraining and oversubscribing expenditure items to be funded by this fund.

Conclusion

Your Committee appreciates the effort made by Treasury to allocate some amounts to both the Ministry of Defence and Home Affairs. However, it is worthy for Treasury to reconsider the priorities for each ministry in consultation with the relevant Ministry officials, analyse the observations made and action the recommendations put forward. Treasury must also take over the debt accumulated by these two Ministries. It is disturbing to note that the inadequate funding history and the non-release of allocated funds disturb the Ministries from fulfilling their constitutional and statutory obligations, hence the need for mutual cooperation between Treasury and these two Ministries.

(113 VIEWS)

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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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