First PF budget defective, admits minister Kasembele

The first PF budget has factual errors and defects that need corrections.
Debating a motion on the estimates of expenditure for the Ministry of Home Affairs, Deputy Minister Alfrida Kasembe admitted that she could not defend certain items because of the typographical errors and defects in the PF budget.

The admission by the minister came when opposition members put her under pressure to justify certain allocations and figures in the budget under the Ministry of Home Affairs to which the minister could not provide answers except to say there were defects and errors in the budget.

Prior to budget presentation, the Watchdog revealed that not much work was done in budget scrutiny and debate by Cabinet Ministers, especially that President Michael Sata, who should have spearheaded and chaired the meetings was out of the country for 12 days in Japan and Korea at the crucial time.

The admission by the minister prompted opposition MPs led by UPND Mazabuka Central MP, Garry Nkombo, to question the rational in wasting time debating and approving a document that was defective.

Mr. Nkombo requested the PF to defer the budget until the anomalies and typographic errors were corrected, especially that in certain instances entire allocations was completely omitted.

Deputy speaker of National Assembly, Mkondo Lungu, warned the minister against calling her own budget defective as that was recipe for confusion.

Nsenga Hill MP, Kapembwa Simbao caused laughter when he wondered whether the people of Northern Province were being punished for GBM’s activities because certain allocations for the province did not make sense.

The budget debate was later prematurely curtailed early in the evening after the Deputy Speaker ordered that the Executive go back with concrete answers.

Live parliamentary debates can be monitored on Parliament radio on 92.6 in Lusaka and various frequencies around the country from 14:30 hours till close of business in the evening and Fridays from 09:00 hours to 12:00 hours.

The debates are also available live online on Parlaiment website.

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