MUTARE residents have called on President Robert Mugabe to reduce the size of his Cabinet in order to cut government expenditure and channel the resources to critical sectors such as health and education, which were suffering due to underfunding.
Source: Reduce bloated Cabinet: Residents – NewsDay Zimbabwe September 14, 2016
BY KENNETH NYANGANI
The residents told a 2017 National Budget consultative meeting in the city on Monday that ministries such as that of Information and Media led by Chris Mushohwe and Supa Mandiwanzira’s ICT portfolio could easily be merged as they were related.
Zimbabwe Coalition on Debt Development Manicaland chapter regional committee member Mildred Muzanechita said the 2017 National Budget should prioritise people living with disabilities as they were the most vulnerable in society.
“Government should merge ministries, because some of the ministries are playing similar roles. We are wasting money on ministries. The economy is not thriving and we are busy creating unnecessary ministries,’’ she said.
“We have the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education and that of Primary and Secondary Education. They should be merged so that we cut our budget. We have also the Ministry of Information, Media and Broadcasting and Information Communication and Technology. They are more like the same.”
She said government should address the issue of ghost workers who continue to bleed Treasury.
“I think they are reluctant to resolve the issue. Just imagine the role of youth officers in our wards. Most of them spend all the day sitting on bridges and they are doing nothing and at the end of the month they receive their salaries,’’ Muzanechita said. “We have councillors in our wards, those youth officers are just passengers who are paid to do nothing.”
Another resident, James Mundenda, said the government was sitting on a health time bomb because of the underfunding of the health sector.
“Medicines are very expensive for most and the health facilities are not up to standard,’’ he said.
“Most top government officials are now seeking treatment overseas and we continue to suffer here in Zimbabwe.’’
Benita Gonese, of the Manicaland Chamber of Informal Associations, said the government should also prioritise informal traders as most of them were facing financial challenges.