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Zimbabwe scores high on budget transparency rankings

by Staff reporter
07 Jul 2022 at 07:58hrs | Views
ZIMBABWE has improved its rankings in national budget transparency after climbing up the ladder by 11 points to settle at number 41 out of 120 countries surveyed from 52 last year, becoming the third in Africa after South Africa and Benin.

The international budget rankings are conducted regularly by the Global Open Budget Survey whose latest report depicts milestones and shortcomings recorded by individual countries.

For Zimbabwe, the positive strides are a testimony of the country's openness in the running of its financial affairs, which economic analysts say is a critical factor in terms of enhancing investor confidence.

The Global Open Budget Survey is the world's only independent, comparative and fact-based research instrument that uses internationally accepted criteria to assess public access to central government budget information; formal opportunities for the public to participate in the national budget process; and the role of budget oversight institutions such as the legislature and auditor in the budget process.

In conducting the survey, which culminates in rankings, government budget decisions that include what taxes to levy, what services to provide, and how much debt to take on, are put to the fore.

Issues to do with equality and well-being of its people are also considered with a focus on providing opportunities to the disadvantaged being critical in the ranking processes.

Engagements between the Government and its publics are also put under the spotlight and how policies impact livelihoods on the international rankings.

In this regard, Zimbabwe has made its budget processes more transparent through the consultative process and continuous engagement with the citizenry on policy issues.

In her post-Cabinet media briefing on Tuesday, Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Minister, Senator Monica Mutsvangwa, said the Global Open Budget Survey report on Zimbabwe was submitted to Cabinet by the Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Professor Mthuli Ncube.

"Cabinet wishes to highlight that within Africa, Zimbabwe is now ranked third after South Africa and Benin, which occupy the 1st and 2nd positions, respectively," she said. "In the southern African region, Zimbabwe is now number two, behind South Africa.

The significant improvement in the Global Open Budget Survey is testimony of the success being achieved in the country's economic reforms under the Second Republic.

Government joins the people of Zimbabwe in celebrating this milestone.

"Cabinet announces, with immense pleasure, that Zimbabwe has improved by 11 positions from a ranking of 52nd to 41st out of 120 countries on the latest Global Open Budget Survey."

Minister Mutsvangwa said the survey measures, in particular, the overall quality of the National Budget process, as well as the transparency and quality of consultations of the process.

"In terms of the quality of the Budget, Zimbabwe ranks 14 points above the world average and well above all African countries," she said.

Contacted for comment, economic analyst and lecturer, Dr Orpheus Kurauone said, positive rankings on the country's budgetary system was a confidence builder.

"This is an endorsement in terms of how we are doing our budgets.

It means there is now improvement in the way the country budgets," he said.

"This means the country is no longer over spending or underspending.

It is using the allocated resources to acceptable standards," said Dr Kurauone.

He said the rankings may result in positive perceptions in the investors' world.

"It will impact on the economy because even the investors will be willing to partner us because they will know that the budgeted money will be used for what it is budgeted for," said Dr Kurauone.

"Even when you want bilateral trade and bilateral trade facilities or multilateral trade facilities, you will now be having some efficient tools to conduct business," he said.

"This is a positive thing although people might take it lightly because when people no longer trust your budget, it is a problem.

"It's like at home when you budget 10kg and is exhausted within two days it becomes a problem, it will stress you.

So, we are moving towards the right direction."

Dr Kurauone said without sanctions, the transparent budgetary system could have seen the country attracting more investments.

President Mnangagwa's Government has also made a commitment to leave no community or place behind on developmental issues.

This explains why even the formally marginalised groups such as the San community, are being mainstreamed into broader society and made to benefit from employment opportunities that exist within Government.

Source - The Chronicle
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