Cushioning Funds, A Call for Transparency and Fairness

Vendors Initiative for Social and Economic Transformation (VISET) takes note of remarks made by the Minister of Finance and Economic Development Professor Mthuli Ncube on 15 August 2020 at a Zanu PF Midlands Provincial Coordinating Committee meeting regarding the Covid-19 cushioning funds. The Minister is said to have announced that there is a low uptake of the facility as only 200,000 had registered against a target of 1 million beneficiaries. He is also reported as having said that this amount was up for review.

The audience, which also comprised traditional Chiefs, is said to have attributed the low uptake to the fact that the amount of ZWL 300 had been eroded by inflation.

As VISET we find it highly unsettling that time and again the only platform where we hear of this cushioning allowance is at Zanu PF gatherings, which begs the question whether this is a patronage tool for party supporters or it is a national programme. We would also want to believe that the government could have begun disbursements in tranches, which would increase the number of people applying as they would be encouraged by seeing some amongst their number receiving the funds. With reports that inflation is past 840 percent, we advise that there be an adjustment followed by immediate disbursement if the funds are to make a difference in people’s lives as intended

VISET urges the authorities to ensure this fund benefits all vulnerable groups in a fair, transparent and non-partisan manner.

Source: Vendors Initiative for Social and Economic Transformation (VISET)