THE SPEAKER OF THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY
HONOURABLE ADVOCATE J. F. MUDENDA
KEYNOTE SPEECH AT THE
2018 PRE-BUDGET SEMINAR
7-11 November 2018
The Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly, Hon. T. Gezi;
The Deputy President of the Senate, Hon. Lt. General (Rtd) M. R. Nyambuya;
The Minister of State for Provincial Affairs-Bulawayo Metropolitan Province, Hon. J. Ncube;
The Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Hon. Professor Mthuli Ncube;
Honourable Ministers here present;
The President of the Council of Chiefs, Hon. Chief F. Charumbira, and his Deputy Hon. Chief Khumalo and all other Honourable Chiefs;
Honourable Committee Chairpersons and Members of Parliament here present;
The Clerk of Parliament, Mr. K. M. Chokuda and Staff of Parliament;
All Permanent Secretaries and Senior Government Officials here present;
The Governor of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, Dr. J. P. Mangundya;
Ladies and Gentlemen;
Let me from the outset welcome you all to this key inaugural Pre-Budget Seminar for the 9th Parliament of Zimbabwe. The seminar, being held for the second time in the “City of Kings and Queens”, has come at the most opportune time, particularly in the aftermath of the recent launch of the National Transitional Stabilisation Programme [2018-2020]. The stabilisation programme is meant to put Zimbabwe on a launch pad towards sustainable and inclusive socio-economic growth. The pathway has specific roles which Parliament has to play to bring about the much needed economic growth. The seminar which is running under the theme “ Enhancing efforts towards stabilising the macro-economic environment for inclusive socio-economic development, ” is relevant and an imperative for Parliament to input into the National Budget which will be skewed towards the effective implementation of the National Transitional Stabilisation Programme.
As such, I wish to highlight with a sense of pride that following the dawn of the new dispensation, profound changes have evolved over the past twelve months. The distance traversed, though figuratively short, has epoch-defining landmarks inclusive of peaceful democratic space conducive in leap frogging our economic development. I have no doubt that Zimbabwe is in a compelling mode of transformational economic change, trail blazing towards a secure future which is epitomised by improved livelihoods for our people who for decades have borne the brunt of economic stagnation and regression. The economy is beginning to slowly but progressively recover notwithstanding the fiscal tremors that the economy is experiencing of late. What is needed is fortitude, perseverance and a political will to weather the current economy glitches.
As observed by the late great statesman of Africa and former President of the Republic of South Africa, His Excellency Cde Nelson Mandela in 1999 , “The long walk is not yet over. The prize of a better life has yet to be won”. The long walk to economic freedom is arduous and yet it should be accomplished without fail.
To that extent, Parliament must firmly put this country on a road to economic recovery through passing a Budget that is anthropocentric and pro-poor in character. The economic trajectory of the 2019 National Budget must be predicated on the primacy to fulfill the will of the people from whom the authority to govern is derived as aptly enunciated in section 3(2)(f) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe . Accordingly, the Budget must lay accent on the people’s hankering for a better life through job creation and quality service delivery. That reality should always resonate at the back of our minds as we craft the 2019 Budget. In this regard, Parliament, as the sovereign representative institution of the people of Zimbabwe, must not abdicate its sacred role of passing a robust Budget that is in accord with the national people’s developmental aspirations.
Honourable Members, Ladies and Gentlemen,
As a disciple of constitutionalism, I wish to emphatically state the vision of section 13 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe which provides as follows:-
“( 1) The State and all institutions and agencies of government at every level must endeavour to facilitate rapid and equitable development, and in particular must take measures to—
(a) promote private initiative and self-reliance;
(b) foster agricultural, commercial, industrial, technological and scientific development ;
(c) foster the development of industrial and commercial enterprises in order to empower Zimbabwean citizens; and
(d) bring about balanced development of the different areas of Zimbabwe , in particular a proper balance in the development of rural and urban areas.”
The operative words in the above constitutional provision are “rapid and equitable development” in all sectors of our economy. For that to be achievable, we need to grow the national Budgetary cake through vigorous and assertive efforts in Domestic Resource Mobilisation.