By Tetiwe Mweemba
As the nation awaits the official presentation of the 2020 National Budget by Finance Minister Bwalya Ng’andu in Lusaka tomorrow amidst the high cost of living, Power outages and suffering intense effects of Climate Change, the Operation Young Vote OYV says the country is expectant of a user friendly budget which should accommodate all and be supported by all.
Speaking in Lusaka today, OYV Executive Director Guess Nyirenda said the budget must provide clear indicators, measures and investment in having duty bearers working closely with the citizens in finding solutions to problems that confront the country.
Mr. Nyirenda said the budget must clearly show an interest in the fight against corruption but incentivizing the whistle blowers and also providing better allocations to the institutions of governance.
“The budget, while it endeavor to address issues raised about the theme “Accelerating Sustainable Development for a Better Zambia Amidst the impact of Climate Change” in the state of nation address by President Edgar Chagwa Lungu, it must be reflective of the day to day social economic challenges, poverty as well as hunger situations citizens are currently in,” Mr. Nyirenda noted.
He added that OYV expected a budget that provided for speedy, manageable and consistent development in the face of climate Change and its impact.
“It would be wishful thinking if you have a budget that is not alive to the poverty and hunger that is ravaging the majority of households in the country. The hunger in the country is real, how then does the 2020 budget resolve the widespread hunger while encouraging and motivating the hungry population to venture into agriculture in a diversified sense not only for food security but also for good nutrition and health food, “he added.
Mr. Nyirenda said OYV is expectant to see how the budget will float practical ways of tackling the reality of climate change.
He added that the policy of purchasing of furniture and other school and office material and equipment from the youth enterprises and cooperatives must not be rhetoric and a myth but be actualized in the budgetary indicators to be given by the Minister of Finance.
“On mining and tourism, OYV expects the budget to allude to and pay particular attention to the targeted review of the APRM in the two sectors that Zambia will be embarking on with the collaboration of the continental APRM Secretariat between the end of this year into 2020, so as to shape a progressive trajectory and embrace ways of harnessing dividends,” Mr. Nyirenda stressed.