By Own Correspondent.

Zimbabwe once a rising economy and the breadbasket of Africa, with mining and agriculture propelling the country forward now struggles, with unemployment rate stated at 42% according to ZIMSTAT 2023 and is faced with many economic challenges.

Many Zimbabweans have migrated to neighbouring countries to seek employment and 2023 saw large numbers leaving through health care worker visa to Europe. The problems of ordinary Zimbabweans seem never ending and the 2024 Budget is adding salt on open wounds. It comes across as a mis-directed fundraising initiative.

The budget is a clear indication of under-performing parastatals which have become a financial burden to the country at large. The money this budget seeks, to help civil servants and the needy clearly creates more problems for them. If government operated its parastatals well, economic growth will be achieved tremendously.

Economic Development comes through programs, policies or activities that seek to improve the economic well-being and quality of life of a community. It consists of initiatives that improve infrastructure, enhance education system, social security, improve health and endless ways to incentivize and attract new businesses and create jobs.

If the parastatals were efficient and effective there would be no need to increase passport fees as more people would be able to get their passports with ease. Taking ownership and fixing the transport systems which include railway, airlines and public transport to enable government to get more revenue and increase business. More fuel taxes, high toll gate fees and vehicle registration would be relevant and this would reduce congestion, transport shortages, and road carnage.

Selling huge areas of land to individuals promotes corruption and inhibits infrastructure development. Ministry of Local Government should be responsible for providing conducive shelter in all provinces for its people and appropriate infrastructure for business where it can collect revenue.

These are steps towards creating the middle-income economy. The focus should be increasing economic development through improving the performance of parastatals and improving corporate governance and management of state property in order to increase revenue for government creating better health and education system, not cancelling Basic Education Assistance because of mismanagement of authorities and leaving the beneficiaries to suffer more.

In terms of the contribution to the Cancer tax fund, it is better to solve the problem that causes cancer than cancer its self. Poor diet and health systems are the cause for cancer to be expensive. If people could afford a proper diet and be attend to early, cancer could be detected early and be cured. But the cost of health care leads people to seek medical assistance late.

It is better to allow people to have more money for themselves to live a healthy lifestyle than for government to cure diseases inherited through poor diet and poverty.

Government must be deliberate to look at all its entities, policies, be accountable and look after its people. Zimbabwe is a beautiful country, peace loving, with resilient individuals who are hardworking and educated, willing to build the beautiful Zimbabwe we all deserve let the budget enable people to live better lives as their taxes work for them not people working for taxes.