President Nyusi visits Cabo Delgado province
Photo: A Verdade
The Assembly of the Republic this Thursday unanimously approved its own budget for 2019, amounting to 1,346,071,340 meticais, of which about 170 million is for wages and salaries. The respective programme of activities was also approved.
The breakdown includes 767,641,967.19 meticais for the item “other staff costs”, 218,361,262.50 for “goods and services”, 149,877,337.29 for “current transfers” and 40,401.130 meticais for investment.
This year, the Assembly of the Republic is operating at a cost of 1.5 billion meticais, divided into “wages and salaries, other personnel expenses, goods and services, current transfers, investments”.
In Mozambique, parliament is the government’s highest representative, legislative and monitoring body. However, it is the executive itself, through the General State Budget (OGE), that guarantees it the money for operations, salaries and other activities.
The budget for the last year of the eighth parliamentary term was approved by consensus by the three parliamentary benches – Frelimo, Renamo and the MDM. The MPs of the two opposition groups, who have consistently voted against the State Budget and other government programmes, did not oppose the so-called “People’s House” budget because their wages and benefits are at stake.
Moreover, a considerable number of the 89 Renamo deputies were not present in the Chamber of Deputies because their National Council is underway this Thursday and Friday in Beira, Sofala province.
António José Amélia, member of the Permanent Commission and first vice-president of the Assembly, said that the business plan and budget “took into account the budgetary limits communicated by the Government”.
Part of the money will be invested in “replacing sound software from the plenary room, assembling the sound system in work committee rooms and parliamentary benches, and acquiring recording and transcription software for minutes”.
According to the deputy, the link between deputies and their constituencies, the electorate and society at large needs to be strengthened and their performance improved by maximising the use of information and communication technologies.
Renamo criticises but approves
Renamo deputy Gloria Salvador remarked that the budget was small and that deputies’ monitoring activities would remain “severely impaired”. Contrary to what is said about the representatives of the people – that they lead a life of luxury and lack self-restraint in the attribution of blessings – Renamo felt that “deputies remain ‘the poor cousins’ of the organs of sovereignty of the State (…)”.
Salvador said that, from year to year, the parliamentary citadel formed part of the activities of the RA, and its budget was allocated, but its construction never materialised, and it had therefore become “a banal subject because little or nothing is known” about it, except that “it is located in KaTembe”.
Those who are neither privy to the planned “House of the People” nor had accompanied its progress for ten years might therefore think that the citadel was already ready, with only its inauguration lacking. But there was no mock-up of such a building, and “MPs need to know how much money has been spent, how much remains to be spent, what infrastructure has been built …”.
Deputy Salvador also noted that the programme of activities for 2019 did not clarify the matter of the monitors used by deputies in the plenary sessions hall. This was a matter that was overlooked every year. “Throughout this mandate, the audio and video system in the service of the deputy has not worked, with the result that the speed of dissemination of Assembly of the Republic documents is impaired”. But something had changed in these devices: the symbol of the Republic now appeared “deaf and dumb in front of us. What’s missing for the system to work?” she asked.
Despite her criticism, Salvador and her party voted in favour of the budget and programme of activities.
In response, António Amélia explained that, in short, the citadel does not exist because of lack of money (…). Efforts were being made to fence off the plot to prevent it from being invaded by the community.
By Emidio SamboSource: A Verdade
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