‘Fiscal transparency, accountability key for Vision 2030’

Ishemunyoro Chingwere Business Reporter 
Government is working on improving fiscal transparency and accountability which it has identified as key pillars for economic growth and realisation of Vision 2030, a senior Government official has said.

President Mnangagwa’s Government is working to see the country attaining an upper middle income economy status by 2030.

Speaking at a policy dialogue on fiscal transparency and accountability organised by the Zimbabwe Economic Policy Analysis and Research Unit (Zeparu) yesterday, Principal Director in the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development Mr Pfungwa Kunaka, said Government welcomes help from stakeholders that helps in building transparency and accountability.

His sentiments come on the back of the country’s fiscal transparency rate that fell to 23 out of 100 in 2017 from 35 out of 100 in 2015, according to a Zeparu study.

Zeparu is an independent institution, which was established by the Government of Zimbabwe and the African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF) in 2003 to conduct evidence-based policy analysis and capacity that feeds into the policy-making process of Zimbabwe.

Mr Kunaka also noted that Zimbabwe needs to do more in implementing set budgets as the 2019 one presented by Finance and Economic Development Minister Mthuli Ncube under the theme “Austerity for Prosperity”.

Checks and balances, he said, should not be left to be the prerogative of the Auditor General’s Office and Parliament alone, but that all other stakeholders among them the private sector, the civil society and the academia should also come on board.

“We call upon you (all stakeholder) to participate,” said Mr Kunaka. “We will love an arrangement, as Ministry of Finance, where we can sit doing the implementation of the budget and we will be discussing issues of accountability and transparency.

“Let’s just not leave it to the legislature, let’s just not leave it to the audit office because this issue is quite serious and it will be a determinant factor in terms of where we go and how quick we can get to Vision 2030 attainment. So as Ministry of Finance we will be more open,” he said.

Zimbabwe’s previous failure to resuscitate the economy has been partly blamed on its inability to implement good policy documents.

President Mnangagwa has, however, placed delivery on top of his to do list and has seen him introducing, among other check lists, the 100-day cycle rapid results initiative.

Speaking at the same event, Zeparu senior research fellow Ms Erinah Chipumho, also noted that there is need to build capacity in stakeholders among them parliamentary portfolio committees to equip them with the skills to provide checks and balances and enforce policy implementation.

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