President Emmerson Mnangagwa has vowed to tackle challenges facing the country urging citizens to brace for tough time as his administration embarks on painful economic reforms.
Writing in The Financial Times, Mnangagwa committed to cut government through reducing the wage bill, retiring and redeploying senior civil servants and limiting foreign travels.
Over 90 percent of government revenue is currently going towards civil service salaries leaving only 10 percent for other sectors of the economy.
“In order to reform, restructure and rebuild the Zimbabwean economy, the national budget must be balanced and spending reined in. The government wage bill is unsustainable.
“A large and inefficient public sector cannot be allowed to hold back private enterprise. We have set about cutting unnecessary expenditure, therefore we are reducing the number of ministries, limiting foreign travel and perks for officials, and retiring or redeploying senior officers,” he said.
Mnangagwa spoke on the need for effective and efficient revenue collection efforts to enable his administration to reduce budget deficit.
“Over the past two years, we have spent large sums to support struggling state-owned enterprises. But we cannot continue to prop them up. So we have earmarked under-performing bodies for sale and have given them strict deadlines to conclude privatization deals.
“Governments do not only cut. They must also collect. As part of an effort to broaden the tax base, we recently introduced a 2 per cent levy on electronic transfers, which make up around 96 per cent of all financial transactions. Collecting revenue effectively and efficiently, combined with cuts and privatisations, will enable us to cut the budget deficit,” added Mnangagwa.
Mnangagwa warned of pain and tough times which he said is inevitable as he tries to re-position and rebuild the economy.
“The process of change is not smooth. Some pain and discomfort along the way is inevitable. The arduousness of the path of reform can sometimes lead governments to stall or backtrack. But as a passionate reformer leading a reformist government, I know there is no other way. We cannot allow anything to slow us down,” he said.
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