Yesterday, The Insider, in a story first published by South Africa’s Sunday Times, reported that the Ministry of Defence and War Veterans got $3.1 billion, the single biggest allocation of the 2020 budget.
According to fact-checking organisation, Zimfact, the Ministry of Defence was actually way down at number four.
The Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement got the single largest allocation, a vote of $11 163 481 000.
The second largest vote went to Primary and Secondary Education, at $8 495 794 000, followed by Health and Child Care, at $6 459 100 000.
Defence received $3 112 708 000.
According to the budget statement, the allocation for the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement includes spending of $5.2 billion for the purchase and importation of grain following the 2018/19 drought-hit farming season.
The $11 billion agriculture spending also includes, among other lines, $1.8 billion for the construction of dams, $422.8 million for irrigation infrastructure,$281.5 million for agricultural extension services, $380 million for compensation of white former farm owners and also the Presidential farm input scheme.
Ahead of the presentation of the budget, images showing budget bids by various ministries had circulated on social media, following the pre-budget seminar held for Members of Parliament in Victoria Falls between October 30 and November 4, 2019.
These budget bids – in which ministries present how much they wish to be allocated by Treasury for the coming year – showed that Defence had the highest bid of $25 billion, while the bid for health was $18 billion. This was wrongly interpreted on social media as the confirmed budget allocations.