MUTARE – THE Parliament of Zimbabwe has been urged to take national budget consultations to all districts of the country to accommodate wider inputs from the citizens.
Pre-budget consultation is an annual process where parliamentarians conduct outreach programmes to collect input from ordinary people ahead of the budget crafting process.
Speaking at a Public Finance Management Reform indaba held at a Mutare hotel on Friday, the Zimbabwe Coalition for Debt and Development (ZIMCODD) regional chairperson Mildred Muzanechita said the citizens of Zimbabwe must be the owners of the budget.
“Wider national budget consultations are very essential in coming up with a sound and well embraced budget and it is sad that the previous national consultations were held in Chipinge district only yet we have eight districts in Manicaland. There is great need for Parliament to avail mechanisms that ensure that all the from the contributions from the citizens are adequately captured ” Muzanechita said.
“These national budget consultations are a relevant platform for citizens to register their expectations on the budget expenditure and income statements, hence, it is very important to have such contributions captured,” she said.
Muzanechita called for the simplification of the consultation processes when conducting consultations to ensure simple understanding of financial terms and jargon.
Parliament Budget Office director Pepukai Chivore said the Parliament Of Zimbabwe had no financial resources to make consultations in all the districts of the country.
“The Parliament is looking forward to using the district structures for consultations and we need a cheap system that can work,” Chirove said.
“There is need to make sure that our people are capable of using the constituency information centres for this purpose,” he said.
He said citizens had the right to approach government and Parliament to demand clarity on issues they did not understand.