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War vet predicts uprisings

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A war veterans’ leader in Manicaland has called upon Finance minister Tendai Biti to channel more funds to small to medium enterprises (SMEs) and struggling companies in his upcoming budget, warning that the country risked Syria-style uprisings.

Report by Obey Manayiti Staff Reporter

Speaking during the 2013 National Budget consultations in Mutare yesterday, deputy political commissar for war veterans in the province Ivan Mbengo said the unemployment rate in Zimbabwe was frightening and the country could easily go over the precipice.

“Poverty is biting everywhere and people are just roaming the streets. The only way to alleviate the possible uprisings such as those in Syria is to keep people happy. We need to keep the youths occupied and we need money to revamp closed industries as well as for SMEs,” said Mbengo.

His sentiments are in sharp contrast to Zanu PF’s prediction that the uprisings would never happen in Zimbabwe as circumstances in this country were completely different from North Africa.

Speaking at the same event, another contributor, Tinashe Usavi, said Biti should channel huge resources to the army for them to acquire necessary arms to deal with any potential national threats.

Suspended Mutare mayor Brian James urged the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority to be more aggressive in collecting revenue from diamond mining companies in Chiadzwa so that realistic funds are remitted to Treasury.

Others recommended that Biti should dedicate resources to health in respect to cancer treatment and to people living with disabilities as well as the welfare of civil servants. Some urged government officials to reduce their travelling costs and to be more responsible with public funds.

People who attended the meeting

THE meeting was attended by several people from different walks of life.

The Portfolio Committee on Budget, Finance and Investment is embarking on nationwide consultations for the 2013 National  Budget.

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