Budget delays disastrous

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HARARE – Zimbabwe's continued delay in announcing the 2014 National Budget is not only disastrous for business but for the whole economy.

Already everyone in the country is now feeling the effects of the absence of a sustainable roadmap for economic management.

Since the new government was inaugurated in August, the economy has been deteriorating significantly with the business community waiting for policy direction.

This lack of direction is being felt in every sector of the economy.

Demand has shrunk, volumes are not moving and debts are not being paid.

Many companies are going for months without paying workers their wages.

The much-touted blue-print dubbed the Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio Economic Transformation (ZimAsset) has failed to halt the economic decline, which is threatening to break the country’s social and moral fibre.

We strongly concur with former Finance minister Tendai Biti who this week said at the moment, it was crucial that leadership of the new government makes bold statements and decisions that can bring back confidence in the economy.

This is because speeches alone will not be sufficient to address mounting challenges Zimbabwe is facing but bold actions that will deal with the issues of transparency, bilateral aid, foreign direct investment and the issue of the disproportionate wage bill.

Unemployment levels in the country have reached alarming levels and something needs to be done urgently to stop this scourge.

Every week, companies are filing for liquidation and each month thousands of employees are being thrown into the streets as firms are fiercely engaged in the race to the bottom.

At the same time, school and college graduates are being churned out yearly adding to the already ballooning unemployment rate.

At this rate, we are raising a generation of young people who will never know what it feels like to work and earn a wage.

We are raising a generation of people who will live and grow without ever making a meaningful contribution of their youth strength and energy to their country’s developmental needs.

No nation on earth can prosper when it allows its huge youthful manpower strength to remain idle and go to waste.

This is a national crisis of  large proportions that clearly needs a marshal plan and deliberate government national policy to tackle and solve with the urgency it deserves.

No single family has been spared by the unemployment crisis that has ultimately driven young people into early morning drunks and alcoholics and indulgence of all sorts.

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