‘Budget consultations waste of time, resources’

MARONDERA residents on Friday said the ongoing national budget consultations were meaningless if government was not clear on what currency Zimbabwe should adopt in the wake of unprecedented price increases as retailers peg their products and services in United States dollar value.

BY JAIROS SAUNYAMA

Speaking during consultations held at Mbuya Nehanda Hall in Marondera, residents asked the Felix Mhona-led Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Finance and Economic Development to be clear on currency.

“You have come here for the budget consultations, but you are yet to tell which currency is to be used. We do not know what is going on. Is the budget being pegged in US dollars or bond notes?” asked one of the residents who refused to be named.

Zimbabwe is currently experiencing an economic meltdown that has resulted in a shortage of foreign currency. Despite the currency distortions on the market, government still insists that the bond note is at par with the US dollar.

Speaking during budget consultations, ward 10 councillor Jimmy Jalifu said budget consultations were a waste of time as most of what the public suggestion was not being taken aboard.

“We have participated in a number of budget consultation meetings, but none of the people’s suggestions are taken into consideration. We are wasting our time. The authorities have their own things in mind, not our contributions. Recently, the Finance minister imposed a 2 cents tax without consultations,” he said.

The public also expressed anger over the controversial 2% tax, saying it was daylight robbery.

Mhona said they have concluded the budget consultations and will present the report to the Finance ministry for consideration.

“We have concluded the budget consultations, with the last meeting held in Harare. We will now compile a report and present it to the relevant authorities. We are happy that the consultations went on well,” he said.

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