Citizens under the Citizens’ Manifesto, Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions and National Associations of Youth Organization representatives met today to review the National Budget that was presented by Finance Minister, Mthuli Ncube and the economic situation in Zimbabwe.

Briggs Bomba (Citizens’ Manifesto convener), Taruvinga Florence (ZCTU vice President) and Misheck Gondo (NAYO executive Director) led the discussions as the citizens tried to unravel the austerity measures that were announced by Mthuli Ncube.

Taruvinga highlighted that economics is the production and distribution of goods to satisfy the needs of the consumers. This might not be the case in Zimbabwe as basic commodities are being overpriced which has become a burden to the ordinary man.

What does Austerity really mean?

The recently announced National Budget’s theme is Austerity for Prosperity. According to Collins dictionary austerity refers to a situation in people’s living were conditions are reduced because economic conditions. This might entail a prolonged suffering period in Zimbabwe before any solution is put to table.

According to Taruvinga, Ncube is operating under the assumption that most Zimbabweans are living large when that is not the case. Speaking of austerity it means more suffering when all the Zimbabwean populace has known is suffering without any hope for the future. Taruvinga alluded that those who are poor will continue in that lane when the rich will continue to reap when they did not sow.

This budget is just a cover-up: Bomba

“Austerity on who and for who?” questioned Briggs Bomba who believed that the national budget was supposed to start by addressing the “ poor men’s bread.” Bomba shared the sentiment as Taruvinga on the fact that the budget should have solved the prices of food so that they are more affordable. “I heard that a kg of cooking gas has gone up to $6.” said Bomba. Bomba believes that the recent budget is just a cover up which is seeking to hide the government’s failure. Bomba alluded that the nation must stop everything and investigate how and when Zimbabwe got in this mess. He added that citizens must question who is responsible and who should be held accountable for the debt that the nation has incurred that the nation is now sharing to pay for.

Zimbabwe is good at coming with policies but not implementing them

“We are not surprised with the good language and good documents but we failed on the practical side.” Said Misheck Gondo.  According to Gondo the Zimbabwean is known for coming up with the best policies that are never implemented. The nation runs a risk of scaring away investors since some policies are introduced and abandoned overnight which makes investors to lose confidence in the system.

Not every has access to social media

This discussion raised the issue that Zimbabweans have lost trust and hope in the government and the system. As to whether demonstrations are useful, the citizens have also lost hope since the masses are used to push an idea but never see the results of why they marched. This could explain why people no longer give in to demonstrations. Citizens also requested for programs that engage those in remote areas that do not have access to the internet and social media so that demonstrations become more effective.