HomeOpinion & AnalysisLettersGovt has done nothing for youths

Govt has done nothing for youths

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PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa, I am worried to see our country falling like a deck of cards. My heart bleeds for the future generation which has been neglected by the Zanu PF-led government.

Many Zimbabweans are scattered around the world and the majority have endured hardships, political unrest and racism.

Mr President, it is high time your government created opportunities for all Zimbabweans, including youths and women to help our economy stabilise.

Some are afraid to come back home because of fear of the unknown, while others have genuine political reasons.  Let us bury our political differences, especially with the main opposition party led by Nelson Chamisa for the sake of progress.

Remember, he embodies the future.

It is about the future generation, it is our wish that whatever you are planning should prioritise youths.

What have you done so far for the betterment of the youths? Youths have been neglected for a long time.

As youths, we lack representation in government and other sectors. –Paul Save

Council must consider stakeholder input in budget crafting

HARARE City Council will soon start budget consultations in a bid to solicit for residents’ input and come up with budget priorities for the year 2022.

Last Friday, the local authority convened a virtual stakeholders’ meeting with the budget advisory committee and civic society organisations to map out engagement strategies for the 2022 budget consultations in view of the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the City of Harare, the budget consultations are expected to commence this week and end at the end of next month.

During the consultative meeting, stakeholders and civic society groups urged the local authorities to embrace technology to engage citizens since COVID-19 has disrupted physical engagements.

However, stakeholders lamented that the city’s processes were merely cosmetic and called on the local authority to avail information on the 2021 budget performance so that residents will provide input for the 2022 budget being formulated.

In terms of the Urban Councils Act [Chapter 29:15] section (288)(2), (a) when the estimates (budget) has been approved by council and approved by the mayor, copies of the estimates (budget) are made available for public inspection.

Furthermore, section 219(2) of the Urban Councils Act specifies that before any tariff or charges come into operation “a statement setting out  the proposed tariff” shall be advertised in two issues of newspapers and posted at council offices for a period of not less than 30 days.

The law also provides room for residents to object to the proposed tariffs for reconsideration by council in terms of section 219(3)(a) and (b) of the Urban Councils Act.

The budget consultations are a critical process of prioritising and tariff setting, an issue the local authority has been wrestling with citizens for many years.

Urban local authority budgets are governed by the Urban Councils Act, Public Finance Management Act, the Constitution and circulars from the Local Government ministry.

CHRA calls for an inclusive budget consultation process and urges the city to consider citizens’ input seriously during budget consultations. –CHRA

US$1bn IMF windfall must benefit the nation

VENDORS Initiative for Social and Economic Transformation (Viset) notes the release of the US$1 billion Special Drawing Rights (SDR) facility by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) as reported in the media.

The amount will, indeed, go a long way in furthering economic development if used wisely and transparently. We also take heart that there will be an allocation towards the health sector, hoping that besides procuring vaccines, some funds will be channelled towards staff remuneration for all their sacrifices in the fight against COVID-19.

What is, however, of major concern to us as VISET is that the issue of protecting the vulnerable in society was mentioned almost as an afterthought, judging from the quoted speech by Finance and Economic Development minister Mthuli Ncube. Social protection, particularly for the informal sector which is now undoubtedly the place where the majority eke a living, cannot continue to be provided for through piecemeal, knee jerk reactions such as “cash transfers” which cannot be verified as to by which means will have been employed in administering the transfers.

As informal sector representative bodies, we will not continue to aid the illusion that our members will benefit from these facilities yet we will not have been consulted from the beginning as to the modalities that can be applied.

We are wiser after disclosures from the Auditor-General Mildred Chiri’s report tabled in Parliament, confirmed what we had already discovered, that there was rampant abuse and corruption in the manner in which the initial COVID-19 cushioning fund was administered and that the chosen money transfer agency had no means of verifying, something we feel was deliberate, given that this was not a process that had been tendered in the first place. Government needs to ensure that facilities such as the SDR make a meaningful impact in the grassroots communities if they are sincere in the attainment of economic prosperity for all.

As Viset, we believe that only a properly constituted facility such as one administered through National Social Security Authority will pass the test, rather than the much touted cash transfer system that has proved vulnerable to abuse by politicians and bureaucrats to the detriment of the deserving poor. –VISET information and  publicity department

 

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