2021 National Budget — time for action
ZIMBABWEANS have for over two decades been waiting for a complete change in their economic fortunes.
The new dispensation under President Emmerson Mnangagwa gave them hope to anticipate the opening of new factories and the resuscitation of old ones that had been long closed due to a hyperinflationary environment.
That dream, though fading, is still there.
In the past three years, life has become tough for the majority of Zimbabweans owing to the rising cost of living, amid reports that most citizens live on less than US$2 a day. Prices of basic goods,until recently, have been going up beyond the reach of ordinary people whose salaries and wages have remained stagnant for years on.
The poverty datum line for a family of five is now close to $20 000 a month, but most workers in the country, civil servants included, earn way below $10 000 monthly.
Finance and Economic Development minister Mthuli Ncube is currently working on the 2021 National Budget and is upbeat that the economy will recover next year buoyed by an anticipated huge agricultural output and an increase in mining revenues.
Once again, his budget is expected to advance economic growth underpinned by production to spur job creation; and ultimately have a kit for social safety nets to take care of the vulnerable in society. But the paradox for an ordinary man is the continued talk about economic growth yet there is nothing to show for it in real terms.
For the ordinary man, economic growth without jobs and food on the table is meaningless. It is, therefore, time for the government to have a relook at its policies in order to ensure the country registers “inclusive” growth that benefits everybody.
With unemployment estimated at over 90 percent there is, therefore, need for Ncube in his 2021 National Budget to come up with interventions that cushion the vulnerable members of our society before the situation deteriorates futher.
No doubt if this continues unchecked it might give rise to social ills like robbery and other vices as people try to eke out a living. Mnangagwa, Ncube and other government leaders in different platforms have agreed that the level of unemployment and youths roaming around the street is a recipe for disaster. It’s time to take
It is sad that more people have been relegated to abject poverty, but Mnangagwa and his government still have a chance to turn around the country’s economic fortunes. It has to start with the 2021 National Budget!