Byo residents craft 2019 budget wish list

Bulawayo residents say the government needs to allocate more funds towards health, education and social services departments.

Making submissions during a Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Finance and Economic Development consultation meeting on the 2019 national Budget in Bulawayo, Tuesday, the residents urged the government to take urgent action on the issue of currency that has resulted in exorbitant prices being charged for goods and services.

Tendai Mawere, a participant said it is disheartening how basic commodities and services now have three different prices.

¨Somehow the minister is not telling us the truth,” he said.

“If he preaches that the value of bond and US dollar is at par, why then are we having three different prices for things?”

He added: “Can we officially discard the bond note and make use of the US dollar and the South African rand as before. May there be measures put in place to ensure we access our money from the banks.”

A representative from the Zimbabwe Coalition on Debt and Development (ZIMCODD) said the rich are not affected by the poor service delivery in the health sector as they fly out of the country and can also access foreign currency for medication.

Mr Kihana from the social services department urged government to avail funds to cater for children who would have been sexually abused.

“These children in most cases are abused and justice does not prevail. They get raped by breadwinners and for fear of poverty, the family conceals the matter, the child lives a miserable life due to that,” he said.

“At least if there are funds the government can offer alternative shelter for the child. She can be provided with school fees and at the same time justice would prevail.”

Effie Ncube from Nkayi said as a means to promote ease of doing business the government must invest enough funds in infrastructural development.

“As it stands the Nkayi road has been under construction for the past three decades,” he said.

“There are reports the ministry of roads and infrastructural development will be fixing roads at 14 km per year, at this rate roads connecting towns will be taking 8 years to complete.”

A participant from Women In Leadership Development (WILD) said more money must be allocated to the mental health department as most women suffering mental illness are kept at Mlondolozi prison.

Virginia Ndlovu a university student said the government must cater for arts and commercial students as much as it does for science students through the Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) programme.

Dr Matthew Nyashanu MP for Buhera Central, the chairperson of the committee said in Kwekwe and Gweru where they have done the consultations, health, education and social service topped the priority list.

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