Mudenda commends prioritisation of energy projects in national budget

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Harare (New Ziana)-Prioritising funding for the speedy completion of the Hwange Thermal power station expansion project in the 2023 National Budget goes a long way in solving the energy shortages that the country is experiencing, Speaker of the National Assembly Advocate Jacob Mudenda said on Monday.

Presenting the 2023 National Budget in Parliament last week, Finance and Economic Development Minister Prof Mthuli Ncube said priority would be given to the timeous completion of Units 7 and 8 of the Hwange Power station, now at 95 percent completion.

The project will bring an additional 600 Megawatts of electricity to the national grid.

Addressing the National Assembly post- budget seminar, Mudenda said giving priority to power projects would go a long way in addressing ongoing electricity shortages.

“Furthermore, the prioritisation of the timely completion of Unit 7 and 8 of the Hwange Power expansion projects is also a step in the right direction as energy is a key enabler of economic growth and industrialisation,” he said.

Zimbabweans are already facing long hours without power, as Hwange’s old power plant keeps breaking down at a time that Kariba has been generating less due to record low water levels.

The situation is set to get worse as Kariba power station, which produces over 70 percent of the country’s power, will be shut down because it has run out of water to generate electricity.

Meanwhile, Mudenda said allocation of the highest chunk of the budget to the education sector would ensure that the country implemented free education next year.

“Additionally, basic primary and secondary education which received the highest allocation of$631.27 billion was also topical and we believe it will result in the provision of basic and affordable education to our learners as well as making Zimbabwe the continental leader in literacy. This resonates well with His Excellency the President’s vision as he has reaffirmed his commitment to provide universal free and compulsory basic education with effect from 2023,” he said.

Mudenda was however disappointed with the budget allocation for the health sector saying it fell short of the 15 percent required under the Abuja Declaration.

Ncube allocated 11 percent of the budget to the health sector.

“Throughout the Budget consultations, members of the public noted the need for the Budget to commit to the Abuja Declaration which mandates that member states must allocate 15 per cent of their National Budgets to the health sector. To that extent, Zimbabwe is acutely aware of the link between health and accelerated economic transformation which cannot be over emphasised,” said Mudenda.

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