Today the Minister of Finance, Professor Mthuli Ncube is going to present the annual National budget for 2020. As Amalgamated Rural Teachers’ Union of Zimbabwe, ARTUZ, our expectation is a budget centred on strategic sectors that can stimulate growth and stabilize the economy.
We expect an allocation of not less than 20% of the national budget to the education sector as per Dakar declaration. There’s high need of improvement on infrastructure in rural schools. Rural schools should be electrified in order to reduce the existing inequalities in the education sector where some teachers are disadvantaged to fully implement the new curriculum that demands e-learning. There’s high shortage of textbooks in schools, the current average ratio of textbooks per learners is 1:8, and this is hindering effective learning which translates to poor economic growth in the future as we are producing students that are not fully equipped with academic knowledge.
The health sector is one of the key economic area that we expect Professor Mthuli Ncube to fund more. The state of our hospitals and clinics is far below standard. Clinics and Hospitals should be renovated, equipment and drugs should be available to motivate health workers and reduce the number of deaths of the working class and other age groups caused by government negligence on the health sector.
The security sector is very important as peace is a key variable in economy building. However, the history of our country since 1980 can give us a very good prediction that we have a probability of 0.0001 for us to have war in the next coming financial year, so we expect the Minister of finance to allocate funds to the security sector, only enough for them to perform their normal day to day duties in a peaceful environment.
Above all, low level government workers like teachers, nurses, doctors etc, should be allocated enough money that can motivate them to report for duty through out the 2020 year. This is very important as these are the implementers of the government economic policies, failure to capacitate them will hinder economic growth and development as they won’t be able to report for duty and become a very big cost to the current and future generations of great nation of Zimbabwe.
Food security is needed. The agricultural sector should be funded enough to provide food security and raw materials to our manufacturing industries. However, due to many reports in different media of how some top government officials squandered the command agriculture funds, we expect more strong punitive measures to curb corruption and bring confidence to the people. Many rural students are dropping out of schools due to hunger caused by top corrupt government officials who feasted on command agriculture funds. We expect feeding schemes to be established and well funded in all rural schools to reduce problem of malnutrition in students, and as a motivation for them to come to school since agricultural productivity from subsistence farming is affected by climate change.
We expect Professor Mthuli Ncube to cut unnecessary expenditures on international travels, expensive conferences, expensive hotel bookings and high benefits on top government officials and redirect those funds to key economic sectors that stimulate industrial growth and bring sanity in the economy.
Source: Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (ARTUZ)