Opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) leader Nelson Chamisa has downplayed the recent Mid Term Budget review presented in parliament by Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube saying it confirms the country is in serious leadership crisis.
Posting on Twitter, Chamisa said budget allocations to social needs were extremely low and the recent salary increments were a far cry from the consumer basket for a family of five.
“The recent Mid Term Budget review confirms that Zimbabwe is in a serious leadership crisis and citizens are exposed to extreme poverty and suffering. I say this for the following reasons: At a time when inflation has reached 257% in July and people in extreme poverty are 7.9 million (49%), the budget disbursements to social are extremely low, e.g., the ministry of health has been given 27% of the budget by June instead of a min of 50%.
“When the consumer basket for a family of 5 has topped ZWL$140K, the government raises the salary of the lowest paid civil servants to $35K (excluding the US$175) and raises the tax-free threshold to $50K, both of which are far below the consumer basket & poverty datum line;
“There is just unrestrained indiscipline in government upon rampant galloping corruption. The condonation of ZWL$107 billion for the 2020 & 2019 fiscal years is testimony to this. The government has created distortions in the foreign currency markets & now gold coins, the havens for corruption,” said Chamisa.
He said the country faces an economic collapse and the prospects of a miserable festive season this year.
“We face a major economic collapse and prospects of the bleakest Christmas season this year. USD: RTGS is now at 1:approx 800. The leadership failure is dramatic, gigantic and encyclopedic. The following must be done immediately: a) Dollarisation which will immediately eliminate distortions, forward pricing and multiple pricing; b) Restoration of the US$540 as a starting salary;
“Holistic tax reform. Reduce the tax burden on citizens and the business in general. As part of the tax reforms, we will remove the 2% tax and streamline taxes; d) Remove distortions esp in the agricultural sector and construction sectors which have created a casino economy. The elimination of the Currency Auction and reforming the RBZ through limiting the power of the central bank. Separating the roles of central banking and financial services supervision.
“Reforming the budgetary process so that the budget comes from parliament and not from the Ministry of Finance. The budget must come from the Citizens -a Citizens-centered budget. Radically dealing with the corruption pandemic and instituting special mechanisms to eliminate and punish the corrupt. Holding credible, free and fair elections preceded by a comprehensive pact on electoral reforms. Only a leadership change will rescue our beautiful country and in no time turn and transform this Zimbabwe from ruins to greatness. We are new leaders,” Chamisa added.