BEAM funding delays by Treasury causing challenges in schools – MPs; First quarter budgets are not funded until October

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By Anna Chibamu


TREASURY delays in disbursing Basic Education Assistance Module (BEAM) funds to public schools have caused much suffering for children and school development, a Zanu PF MP has said.

Speaking in Parliament last week, Bikita West MP Elias Musakwa said schools were incapacitated at the start of each year until September and October when BEAM funds are released by the Ministry of Education. Finance.

“Schools have no funding to fund their activities as is the case in my constituency. What is the political position on bridging funding for schools whose enrollment is 80% or 90% funded by BEAM, given that these funds take a long time to be disbursed and schools have difficulty funding their needs? said Musakwa.

Acting Head of Government Affairs and Transport Minister Felix Mhona has admitted that BEAM funds are taking too long to release.

“The problem with school funding has arisen where funds from BEAM have been slow to arrive. The Ministry of Education should get the allocation so that the funds are released and disbursed accordingly,” Mhona replied. .

Sicelecile Mahlangu, MP for the Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC), added that most schools had “requested BEAM using first term budgets, but first term fees were not paid while schools approaching the third trimester.

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Norton MP Temba Mliswa stepped in and called on the finance minister to respond.

“This question should be directed to the Minister of Finance as to why the ministry is disbursing funds late,” Mliswa asked.

Deputy Finance Minister Clémence Chiduwa arrived and said, “As for BEAM, when we started the first term of the year, the disbursement was very timely. The first quarter disbursement was very timely and it was one of the first social protection funds that we released early, around February.

“As far as unpaid fees are concerned, it is a matter of principle. Where there is a commitment to say we will pay, we will pay and if there are schools where disbursements have not been made, it can also be the submission of requests to the Ministry of Finance.

“So if there are late disbursements, it’s probably because of the way we manage our expenses. We only eat what we harvest, this is where we are.

Mliswa accused Chiduwa of being dishonest with parliamentarians.

“The minister must be honest. Is it the ministries that are incompetent because you’re basically saying there’s nothing happening to us, so we can’t release. Do you admit that the ministries are incompetent? said Mliswa.

Chiduwa replied, “I have no power to determine who is competent and who is not. What I said is that the standard budget process, and even though the budget has been published and approved here in Parliament, we only release it upon request. If specific ministries and departments do not request their budgets, we will not publish them.

“The release is based on a request, I submit.”

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