Abolish Deputy Ministers to Reduce Expenditure
MUTARE- Zimbabwe has a bloated government which is inimical to development and should rid itself of expenditure burden by abolishing the offices of the deputy ministers as they replicate duties, a top economist has said.
Labour and Economic Development Research Institute of Zimbabwe economist Dr Prosper Chitambara said the) made these remarks as he gave a wide ranging critique on economic development plans of government.
Dr Chitambara was addressing journalists at a Media sensitization and engagement meeting organized in collaboration with Manicaland Media Community Alliance Trust (MMCAT) an organization that promotes good welfare of the media practitioners and amplify community voices.
In his remarks Dr Chitambara also said government’s implementation of the Transitional Stabilization Plan (TSP) failed to garner the necessary support from the populace and stakeholders, due to lack of consultation.
“We can finance development by merely reducing the size of government, Zimbabwe has a bloated government yet we are a small economy, so we spend a lot of resource on useless expenditure.
“We need less parliamentarians, less directors in government, less ministers and even no deputy ministers we don’t need them.
“The structure of government itself is so anti-development,” said Dr Chitambara.
Dr Chitambara said this austerity policy of the Transitional Stabilization Plan (TSP) was bound to negatively impact on people’s lives as it entailed reduced government expenditure in social service delivery.
He said government’s austerity policy failed to get support and buy in from stakeholders because of the lack of extensive consultation.
Dr Chitambara said this has become typical that government policies lack of extensive consultation before implementation, despite its bloated size which ideally should facilitate engagement with stakeholders.
He said if the consultation had been extensive government could have been advised to reduce the mere size of the cabinet which also increases government wage bill and recurrent expenditure at the expenses of social services.
“The major critic of the TSP is that there were effective consultation of the TSP by government. When government is crafting a policy it’s very very important to ensure that there is effective consultation with stakeholders.
“Government must consult extensively this ensures that there is buy in, it also helps to ensure that there is unity of purpose and helps the nation to unify the nation around a common economic goal.
“Economic policy of austerity failed to garner public support because government is working in a silo without extensive consultation of key stakeholders in the development of the country,
“Other countries create formal platform for dialogue with stakeholders other countries come up with national planning commissions that include government business labour civil society organisations academic institutions where there is a cross representation of stakeholders.
“It helps to ensure consultations are not adhoc,” he said.
Government can also take a leaf from developed countries that have commissions which drive development policies, inclusive of all stakeholders within the economy, said Dr Chitambara.
He said government should leverage on the abundance of stakeholders, human resource dividend and civil society which are pro development and include them as stakeholders in theits development planning.
“So we should come up with a national planning commission or national development commission.
“We need an institution that brings together stakeholders like the national development commissions does in other jurisdictions where there is representation of all key players, PWDs business sector, trade unions and civil society.
“Most developed counties have these commissions that drive development from a broad based perspective, the idea being to embrace inclusivity in terms of representation,” said Chitambara