By James Martin
The 2019 financial year has not been rosy for the Zimbabwean people after the country’s pseudo currency; the bond note drastically lost its value against the most preferred United States Dollar.
Treasury and the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) introduced several policy changes to bail the country’s economy but to no avail.
As the 2019 financial year approaches its end, Parliament’s focus has turned to the 2020 financial year planning. The planning involves what is called a pre-budget consultation process. For one to understand the pre-budget consultation process, at first one needs to understand what a budget is.
A budget is an approximation or an estimation of revenue or income and expenses or costs expected over a specified forthcoming period. Budget can be made at government, individual, family, business and organisation levels.
So, a pre-budget means a process whereby Parliamentarians organise their constituencies to afford them a chance to put forward their proposals on yearly national resources allocation.
It is also a process whereby the citizenry gets an opportunity to ask relevant authorities on the performance of the previous budget. What was allocated to what for what and how much was released for what?
OpenParlyZW spoke to several legislators to further understand what pre-budget consultation process is.
Marondera Central legislator Caston Mateu who is also a member of the Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee said he understands a pre-budget consultation process as a way of holding public meetings in sequence with concerned players to have a say before the final national budget is compiled.
“Pre-budget consultations are a series of meetings with various stakeholders who are directly or indirectly affected by the budget appropriated by the government.
“This includes consulting various ministries on how much allocation they want and also consulting the general public about which areas the government should put more money on.
“This is important to ensure that whatever the final budget is, there have been input and a broader discussion by all stakeholders,” he said.
Norton legislator Temba Mliswa said pre-budget consultation process takes into account additions and subtractions on the national budget guided by Public Finance Management Act.
Honourable Innocent Gonese who represents Mutare Central concurred with Mliswa adding that the constitution is the guiding principle in the pre-budget consultation process.
Gonese said: “pre budget-consultations are part of Parliament’s engagement with the public as is provided for in terms of Section 141 of the Constitution which requires Parliament to facilitate public involvement in its processes.
“It is important because it enables the people to make inputs and contributions on what they want in the Budget.”
Parliament will be holding public hearings on the 2020 national budget starting on the 23rd to the 27th of September at various places across the country.
Two teams from the committee will hold meetings at the places listed in the following tables:
|Monday 23 September||Kariba||Nyamunga Hall||10.00 am|
|Tuesday 24 September||Shamva||Shamva Council Hall||10.00 am|
|Wednesday 25 September||Uzumba||Mutawatawa Community Hall||10.00 am|
|Thursday 26 September||Chipinge||Gaza Hall||10.00 am|
|Friday 27 September||Harare||Parliament Building Senate Chamber||10.00 am|
|Monday 23 September||Masvingo||Masvingo Civic Centre||10.00 am|
|Tuesday 24 September||Plumtree||TMB Hall||10.00 am|
|Bulawayo||Small City Hall||2.00 pm|
|Wednesday 25 September||Lupane||Lupane Community Hall||10.00 am|
|Thursday 26 September||Victoria
|Kingdom Hotel||10.00 am|
|Friday 27 September||Kwekwe||Kwekwe Theatre||10.00 am|