By Farai Matebvu
MUTARE- Government has been called on to reform the national fiscal governance to fully enhance constitutional and legal requirements of the financial management to avoid corruption, excessive and opaque borrowing, the National Association of Non Governmental Organisations (NANGO) has warned.
NANGO, an umbrella body for all non governmental organisations in the country said while the country has an elaborate fiscal framework and systems in place, the political climate in the country is disabling efforts to resuscitate the economy through management of the fiscal sector.
The organisation’s Eastern Regional Coordinator Joseph Kauzani told participants during a Virtual Zimbabwe Coalition on Debt and Development [ZIMCODD] Policy Indaba this week that viable solutions to adhere to transparency and accountability are quickly needed in the financial sector.
“The unavailability of viable solutions to adhere to transparent and accountable financial management have given room for social stratifications, gross abuse of power and infringement of citizens rights” Kauzani told the Observer Newspaper.
“While economic governance is the bedrock for socio- economic development, lack of it sets a huge burden on the tax payer and paves way for social injustices amongst the marginalised populations of the society” he said.
Kauzani said reforms are needed to sort out mess in the country’s fiscal environment and financial management sector.
“We need urgent reforms that speak to good governance, a system that must embrace marginalised groups in public finance management, including gender responsive budgeting” Kauzani said in an interview.
“There should be fiscal devolution which entitles institutions five percent of national fiscal resources and the existing fiscal framework is steeped against sub-national tiers of government, leaving such institutions without resources to perform their functions” he added.
Senior Ambassador with Social and Economic Justice Agents [SEJA]Moses Semwayo said the impact of fiscal policy on inequality and injustice pose critical challenges for the state and the general population.
“Rising inequality does not only harm economic growth and create social distress but can also affect access to opportunities, including public services” said Semwayo.
“So, fiscal policy reforms are necessary to fight poverty, corruption, and reckless borrowing and spending by the state” he said.
Semwayo said unemployment, hunger, homelessness, lack of all basic goods and services are hinged on government revenue.
“If government revenue is mismanged, this creates poverty, injustices, inequality and pose threats to citizens welfare” he added.
Women Centred Development Trust Executive Director Rumbidzai Nzarayebani said her organisation will continue to push for fiscal reforms.
“There is no fiscal justice at the moment, government is borrowing without accountability and transparency” she said.
“This harms development and affects women most. Government borrowing and spending requires parliament approval which is not happening at the moment” said Nzarayebani.
“The country has more than 26 billion in debt and the question is, who authorised that borrowing for the country?” she asked.
The Zimcodd policy Indaba sought to unpack Zimbabwe’s fiscal governance framework and identify missing links for total realisation of equity and social rights.