The business community here has implored Finance minister Tendai Biti to curb Cabinet ministers’ excessive foreign trips and penchant for driving expensive cars because these were a major drain on the national fiscus.
Biti, who was accompanied by State Enterprises and Parastatals minister Gorden Moyo during a 2012 National Budget consultative meeting, was told in no uncertain terms uncontrolled government expenditure would continue to scuttle economic recovery.
Former Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce (ZNCC) Matabeleland South president Misheck Ndlovu said resources meant for the good of the public were being channelled towards the upkeep of politicians.
“The problem we have here is that your government is too big. Several Presidents, Prime Ministers and nearly 300 senators and parliamentarians milk the tax-payer. Where can the money to pay all these people and also service the nation come from considering the fact that we have no other source of income besides taxing?” he said.
“Minister (Biti) I repeat, your government is too large, you people travel too much, you eat too much, you drive too expensive vehicles. Everything you are doing in government is just too extreme. There is too much rot up there. Please get rid of it so that we move forward.”
ZNCC Matabeleland regional manager Bulisani Ncube urged politicians to stop bickering so as to attract investors into the country.
Ncube bemoaned the stiff competition brought by Chinese goods imported into the country.
“Everyone has a headache over Chinese goods,” he said. “Our textile industry will never compete with China and the government must try something to curb the crisis.”
Responding to issues raised at the meeting, Biti said the national cake was too little, though government was working hard to ensure all people got a piece of it.