Saturday, December 01, 2007

Zim's 2008 budget

from all Africa

by Tendai Biti

THE mediocre budget proposals for 2008 presented yesterday by Finance Minister Samuel Mumbengegwi is an economic fiction that reflects the disconnection, denial and the sense of abstraction of the Zanu PF regime.

At all material times over the years, we have always argued that the regime is trapped in a matrix of denial and has no depth of the nature and extent of the Zimbabwean crisis.

The suggestion by the totally talentless Mumbengegwi that the Zimbabwean economy will grow by 4% in 2008 and that year-end inflation in the same year will be down to 1 978% underpins the psychiatric disconnect....

No wonder, in real terms, 70% of the budget is devoted to the army, the police, militias and patronage in the form of high allocation to the women and the youth.

Thus, under a vote item innocuously headed Special Services in the vote for the President and Cabinet, $87, 9 trillion has been allocated to the Central Intelligence Organisation.

The Ministry of Defence got a staggering $374,3 trillion while the ministry of Home Affairs got $339,6 trillion.

But the real slush fund is found hidden as an unallocated reserve under the Ministry of Finance's allocation in the form of a staggering $277,9 trillion.

Further, a large part of the patronage funds are found hidden in various vote allocations to the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare.

The attempt to label this budget a "people's budget" is as hollow as it is unoriginal. For all practical purposes, this budget is arguably the most anti-people budget since independence. We say so for a number of reasons, both structural and normative....

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