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CPC response to the 2013 National Budget presented by Finance Minister
of the Peoples Charter (CPC)
November 16, 2012
of the Peoples Charter, having read the 2013 budget presentation,
notes that it is a budget that is intended at continuity in relation
to the inclusive government's work programme at least six
months prior to elections being held in March next year. It is this
intended continuity with its attendant business as usual approach
that points to the fact that the inclusive
government might not be taking elections scheduled for 2013
as seriously as would be expected. This is with regards to both
the inadequate budgetary allocation for elections and the referendum,
as well as in the assumption that the inclusive government's
work programme will be undertaken by the next government of Zimbabwe.
It is therefore
the CPC's initial observation that the inclusive government,
through its budget is not taking the nationally important issue
of elections as seriously as is necessary. This is even more tacit
where consideration is given to the fact that the inclusive government
is a compromise arrangement and to seek a repeat of the same through
inadequate resourcing of elections is unfortunate.
The CPC notes
that in the same framework of seeking continuity to its policy ambiguities,
the inclusive government has not allocated any resources for a wholesale
review of its performance either for each line ministry or as Cabinet.
Because of this, there is the claim that for example, the Distressed
Industrial and Marginalized area Fund (DIMAF) was not exhausted
in the current financial year (2012), yet it was a fund that was
established on the basis of urgency. It therefore becomes disheartening
to assess that the recurrence of the same urgent challenges facing
the people of Zimbabwe in all of the last four national budget presentations
by the Minister of Finance is indicative of limited or poor performance
by the ministers in the inclusive government.
to social welfare or what the budget has termed Social Services
and Social Safety Nets', there is no new approach to the challenges
faced therein. The template that the government seeks to use is
that which has continued to bedevil the social services, particularly
health and education since the first full budget of the inclusive
government. It would have been preferable had health and education
at primary level be made free at all government institutions with
the intention of ensuring access for all young children and primary
school pupils. This would be a mitigatory measure against commercialization
of these services where only the few get the best of them and our
political leaders seek health treatment as well as send their children
to expensive schools. And where international donors have been assisting
in funding our health delivery system, it would be preferable that
the government negotiate from that premise.
that the budget makes to youth is however of significance in that
indeed youth unemployment is a 'time-bomb' in Zimbabwe. In our view
the reasons for this are not because, contrary to the budgets assertion
of a fear of a youth uprising similar to the 'Arab spring'. it is
more because the inclusive government has failed to address youth
unemployment holistically and has unfortunately sought to purchase
support of young Zimbabweans through unclear youth funds that have
eventually mainly benefited those with proximity to political power.
Where the 2013 budget emphasizes 'vocational training' for youths
it accords them no particular role in the contemporary economy,
particularly via public work programmes such as the much vaunted
Plumtree-Mutare highway or even proposed rehabilitation of hospitals
and other state institutions.
the CPC, being aware that budgets are not singular panaceas for
societal development, it is the progress that they make and provide
for that leads towards better and democratic distribution of the
national cake. The 2013 budget however is not a major departure
from what has been obtaining since 2009 where the template that
informs it remains to the greater extent over reliant on resources
and knowledge support from the IMF and the World Bank, institutions
that were at the lead of implementing economic structural adjustment
programmes in the 90s. It is unfortunate that in contemporary times,
the inclusive government continues to inadequately address the contextual
economic problems that Zimbabwe faces through similarly arrived
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