By A Correspondent- Treasury allocated the security cluster ZWL2,3 trillion more than the health and childcare, giving it instead 11,68% of the 2024 national budget well short of the Abuja Declaration.
In the 2024 national budget presentation on Thursday, Finance, Economic Development and Investment Promotion minister Mthuli Ncube said ZWL$8,6 trillion had been allocated towards the national security cluster and ZWL6,3 trillion to the Ministry of Health and Childcare.
This comes despite the country signing onto the Abuja Declaration wherein African Union countries set a target of allocating at least 15% of their budget each year to the health sector.
“The 2024 National Budget seeks to consolidate recovery of public health sector services, across all levels of health care, through provision of the requisite tools of trade such as adequate working space, manpower, drugs and medical supplies across the value chain,” Ncube said.
“In this regard, an amount of Z$6,3 trillion has been allocated towards the Ministry of Health and Child Care.”
The security cluster is the total budget allocated to the Ministry of Defence, Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage, Prisons and Correctional Service, as well as Special Services.
This will be directed towards meeting the security cluster’s remuneration, food rations, operational equipment and the necessary infrastructure.
Ncube justified the allocation to the security cluster as the country needing to secure “peace”, months after the general elections were disputed.
Yet, the healthcare industry is facing depreciating and dilapidated infrastructure as well as a brain drain on qualified staff.
Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Health chairperson Daniel Mokolele expressed concern over the current situation of the Zimbabwean health sector in the pre-budget meeting hosted by Community Working Group on Health (CWGH) earlier this month.
He stated that Zimbabwe’s heavy reliance on external funding for its health sector was another cause for concern looking at the budget to healthcare.