Citizens urged to take part in budget consultations

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By Costa Nkomo

THE Zimbabwe Coalition on Debt and Development (ZIMCODD) has urged ordinary Zimbabweans to take part in the ongoing national budget consultations in order to own the outcome.

Pre-budget consultation is an annual process where parliamentarians conduct outreach programmes to collect input from ordinary people ahead of the budget crafting process.

ZIMCODD Social and Economic analyst, Tafadzwa Chikumbu told participants at a recent National Association of Non-Governmental Organisations (NANGO) exhibition in Harare, that pre-budget consultative seminars are a relevant platform for citizens to register their expectations in the forthcoming 2020 expenditure and income statements.

“You may not be happy that the government in 2019 purchased fancy vehicles for ministers but if you don’t go and speak out on what you want to see in the budget, complaining without participation will be of little help.

“We have witnessed shortages of water, shortages in hospitals and shortages in power supply. This is an opportunity for you to go and speak against these shortages,” Chikumbu said.

He said citizens should also take part in most developmental projects in order to hold those in power to account.

“Your participation should also be seen in all developmental programmes that aim to uplift your livelihoods.

“Take part in forums where corruption is castigated and help by all possible means to raise awareness to conscientise others,” he said.

Chikumbu later told that ZIMCODD will also compliment government and Parliament by conducting own pre-budget consultations since the two may be overwhelmed.

“On annual basis, ZIMCODD conducts its own consultations with the citizens noting that the government may not have the full capacity to go around doing consultations to all the citizens. So we will be doing a complimentary duty,” Chikumbu said.