No budget is perfect

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Looking at the 2022 national budget and the reactions it has attracted so far , simply means that no single budget is perfect.

A user friendly budget will always be closer to people’s hearts and needs.
This is a document we may say is almost perfect.

The 41 000 civil servants to be employed by the UPND government is a plus and something in the right direction.

What government should do is prioritise the most populated cities , and that is Lusaka and the Copperbelt provinces.

Lusaka is congested and should be given a good number of those to be given jobs, then the Copperbelt,and deal with the rest accordingly.

These jobs are a long term benefit to the national treasury through PAYE, and loan repayments, if borrowed from a government owned financial institution.

In 2011 when PF formed government, Michael Sata, took a similar route like the UPND has taken,but this path by the New Dawn Administration is a huge one.

What is crystal clear is that the civil service will have to brave wage freezes which may arise as a result of such massive job opportunities, and creations.

The huge shift in the CDFs from 1.0 million kwacha to 25.7 million kwacha is yet another land mark yet an area of serious concern.

This should never be seen as an opportunity to engage in illicite activities but rather deal with long outstanding problems at constituency levels across the nation.

Zambia has been struggling with issues of garbage collection, poor roads and dirty water. Let priority be given to free garbage collection across the nation, deal with poor key roads and finally help our relatives in rural areas with clean water.

Walking long distances in search of water should be the thing of the past in the next two years with consistence in the budget allocations.

The shift in the CDFs should be protected with positive mechanisms to stop all manner of thefts and corruption.

The whole matter is a litmus test.

Interesting enough is the talk on free education,this is vital and critical.

Free education will lessen burdens on single mothers,widows and the jobless parents.
We last had free education system under the Kenneth Kaunda regime,and came to an end in the late 80s.

Like the CDFs like free education,both are matters of long term benefits right into 2026 if possible.

If the PAYE taxation is to be greatly beneficial to the workers,we need to broaden the tax base through job creation.

This new dawn administration, should not think of demolishing the Industrial Development Corporation_IDC.

So far the Corporation has performed well,by trying hard to resuscitate firms which got shut during the Frederick Chiluba regime.

On the youth empowerments at constituency levels,we need to exercise caution. We can’t take chances any more.

Youths are in two categories,the first group are the youths who have graduated from secondary schools,colleges,and universities and are ready to work.

The second category consists of youths who want to venture into the private sector and are ready to get trained so as to acquire various trades,with or without education.

I would rather get the 25 percent from the CDFs and deal with these groups separately.

The 2022 budget is therefore close to people’s hearts and needs as their will never be a perfect budget in the world,but their can be a bad one.

Dr Cephas Mukuka
Political Researcher.


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