MDC-T predicts catastrophic 2017

ECONOMIST and MDC-T shadow finance minister Tapiwa Mashakada has predicted a catastrophic 2017 with regard to the health, social services and education sectors after Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa’s budget revealed $3,7 billion will go toward civil servants’ salaries leaving only $400 million to be shared by different other ministries.

Source: MDC-T predicts catastrophic 2017 – NewsDay Zimbabwe December 30, 2016

by VENERANDA LANGA

Mashakada said with a growth rate of 0,6%, it was impossible for government to raise enough revenue to meet the $4,1 billion budget, which means the country was headed for doom in 2017.

“With no foreign direct investment, no official development assistance (ODA), no fresh loans from multi-lateral institutions, the only source of revenue for government is growth. If you read the budget statement, you see that in 2017 the economy will only grow by a marginal increase from 0,6% in 2016 to 1,7% in 2017,” Mashakada said
“Such a small growth rate cannot generate enough revenues to meet the $4,1 billion budget, and now what will happen to critical sectors like health, social services and education? Obviously there will be a humanitarian catastrophe.”

The Hatfield MP said government should cut its recurrent expenditure, increase productivity, ensure there is ease of doing business and repeal restrictive the laws and policies such as the indigenisation regulations.

Mashakada also suggested flushing out of all ghost workers that have caused the rise of employment costs that have chewed 90% of the National Budget.

He said every year Chinamasa whines about the high employment costs that were taking more than 90% of the budget leaving nothing for capital expenditure, yet nothing was being done to weed out thousands of ghost workers.

“The budget money is literally consumed by employment costs, and the wage bill is inflated by ghost employees who are mainly Zanu PF activists paid to do nothing,” Mashakada said.

In 2016, Auditor-General Mildred Chiri reported that there were 12 500 people who were not on the government’s payroll yet they were providing services.

About 11 813 (96%) of the ghost workers were said to be in the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education.
When a headcount of civil servants was done, 3 500 government employees were reportedly unaccounted for and were drawing $21 million in salaries per annum.

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