The executive failed us Parliamentary committee laments!!!
The Tanzania parliamentary committee on Agriculture, Water and Livestock has expressed its great displeasure with the executive branch of the government for failing to fulfil budgetary commitments made in parliament for the benefit of agriculture, water and livestock sectors.
The members of the committee told farmer leaders in Dodoma on the eve of the agriculture sector budget readings for Fy 2015/16. It was at the meeting it came to light that the government had failed to fulfil financial year 2013/14 promise to release additional funding obligations to the water, livestock and agriculture sectors.
The additional funding commitments were forced by parliament after it had refused to approve the budgetary allocation noting it was very small and inadequate.
The meeting was convened by the Eastern and Southern Africa farmers’ Forum (ESAFF), a network of smallholder farmer groups in Tanzania (MVIWATA) and the Agriculture Non-state Actors Forum (ANSAF) to deliberate on the farmers views and concerns on the agriculture sector in Tanzania and how to enhance partnerships between the two.
The chairman of the committee Professor Peter Mahamud Msolla expressed his displeasure with the executive while reacting to presentations done by ANSAF Executive Director Audax Rukonge and Projectus Ishekanyoro (a farmer member of MVIWATA) and later on questions filed by farmer leaders.
A MVIWATA farmer leader Mr. Paulo Joseph from Manyara asked the committee if the budget that was approved in the financial year 2014/15 was fulfilled by 100% or not. “If the budget was not fully disbursed in the previous years, what was the rationale to approve a budget that is not being honoured,” asked the farmer.
In his response the committee chairman noted that “the parliament refused to approve the water sector budget in the previous financial year and the government promised to release about TZS Billion 80 for the water sector, TZS 20 Billion to the struggling livestock sector,” He lamented that the promised funds were never released.
The chairman of the Agriculture, Water and Livestock committee admitted that during the preparatory of the financial year 2015/16 budget, the agriculture committee it was a big tussle as proposals made in the past were not fulfilled by the government.
Professor Msolla said “we were called to the parliamentary budget committee session in which the Prime Minister and Parliamentary chairpersons committees attend and our committee refused to present any budget amendments because past recommendations were not honoured”.
To overcome the challenges, the parliamentary agriculture committee that was represented by 13 Members of Parliament agreed to meet with farmers frequently and especially when budget preparations are at the initial stages. It was also agreed that the move will ensure that issues raised by smallholder farmers gets to the ministries and government officials as well the full house in time.
It was further deliberated that ministers and principle secretaries of the agriculture sector line ministries (agriculture, water and livestock) should be present during those discussions.
MPs attended the session were Hon. Prof. Peter Msolla (Chairman), Hon. Said Nkumba (Vice Chairman) Hon. Prof. David Mwakyusa (Member), Hon. Dr. Christine Ishengoma (Member),
Hon. Dr. Lucy Nkya (Member), Hon. Abdalla Haji Ali (Member), Hon. Abdusalaam Ameir(Member), Hon. Meshack Opulukwa(Member), Hon. Haji Juma Sereweji(Member), Hon. Mariam Kisangi (Member), Hon. Phillipa Mturano(Member), and Ms. Grace Bidya- Secretary to the committee, Ms. Sophia Vumbi- Committee Assistant Officer, and Mr. Oliver Mwikila- Parliamentary Officer.
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