Thursday, June 14, 2018

Zitto Kabwe takes on Tanzania government over budget estimates

Kigoma Urban MP Zitto Kabwe and Kasulu Urban MP

Kigoma Urban MP Zitto Kabwe and Kasulu Urban MP Daniel Nsanzugwako following closely as the Finance Minister Phillip Mpango presents the Economic Survey Report for 2017 and the National Development Plan for 2018/19 in Parliament on Thursday. Photo | Edwin Mjwahuzi 

By Rosemary Mirondo @mwaikama

Dar es Salaam. Opposition Member of Parliament for Kigoma Urban Constituency Zitto Kabwe has questioned the rationale behind the government increasing the 2018/19 budget yet it has consistently failed to meet the revenue collection threshold in the last two financial years.

Mr Kabwe who is an economist by training said there was a big mismatch between the budget figures and the allocations to the various sectors of the economy.

“The government should be realistic and set budget targets that can be met or else it runs the risk of non-performing. It is a fact that most African governments read their budgets before looking where they will get the resources,” said Mr Kabwe.

He was speaking in an interview with Azam TV as part of a panel discussion of the government’s 2018/19 budget scheduled for reading in Parliament today Thursday, June 14, 2018 in the capital Dodoma.

The ACT Wazalendo party leader said the trend shows that in the last five years since 2013/14 financial year, the respective government administrations under CCM did not meet any of their budget estimates.

He observed that for every planned Tsh100, the government has released an average of Tsh65.

According to him, things were even worse in the first financial

Year of the fifth phase administration of President John Magufuli which raised the budget by a whopping 30 percent from 11 percent of his predecessor Jakaya Kikwete’s final year in office.  

He said in that year, while the government allocated 50 percent of the budget to development projects, less than half of the figure was released.

“The government needs to stop putting up a budget with large numbers when it well knows it has no funds,” he stressed.