The Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe, ARTUZ is eagerly waiting for the announcement of the 2022 budget. The Union hopes fiscal authorities change tact and focus on investing in inclusive growth than saving for executive luxuries.
The Minister of Finance, Professor Mthuli Ncube, the high priest of austerity, has been pre occupied with saving the little resources we mobilise as a nation without investing in social services and capital goods which are critical for sustainable long term growth.
ARTUZ posits that, if Zimbabwe continues on the trajectory of abandoning social services it is destined to become a failed state in the long term. The nation will not survive if we do not educate our people and fail to attend to their health needs among other basics which sustain the lives of our people. Life expectancy will continue drop, infant mortality rates will keep rising, uneducated youths will increase drug abuse and our nation will become a society of desperate and hungry citizens.
Creating jobs is an urgent issue. Under utilizing the labour of millions of of our able bodied young people is one of the reasons why our national cake remains small. The demand for social protection is high in a context of scarce resources because of failure to create jobs. The 2022 budget should speak to ways of enhancing capacity utilization, efficiently harnessing our production factors including our labour, land, capital and entrepreneurhip skills.
The 2022 budget should set the tone of building a production driven economy that is pro-poor and devolved. The wish for donor funds and foreign direct investment should not be the major thrust but harnessing our resources through value addition and diversification. The nation should exploit available resources and intensify production guided by disciplined and efficient state planning.
The Union reiterates that it is not a luxury or a waste to invest in social services including paying civil servants a living wage. The nation should take care of the human resources because it is the engine for economic growth. To that end Union still demand pre-October 2018 salaries for teachers.
We look forward to a budget which meets all internationally agreed thresholds on spending for services.
|Social protection||Social Policy for Africa (2008)||4.5 percent GDP|
|Healthcare||Abuja Declaration (2001)||15 percent government expenditure|
|Water and sanitation||Ethekweni Declaration (2008) Sharma El Sheik Commitment (2008)||1.5 percent GDP|
|Education||Dakar Declaration (2000)||20 percent government expenditure|
|Agriculture||Maputo declaration (2003)||10 percent government expenditure|
|Infrastructure||African Union Declaration (2009)||9.6 percent GDP|
Zimbabwe has an acute shortage of schools, shortage of teachers, deplorable infrastructure, and skills deficits among others. The learners who are living in abject poverty have a right to state funded education, including provision of learning materials, sanitary wear and meals. Committing 20% national expenditure will be a step in the right direction to address these challenges.