“There is no documented budget for Zim Asset. This makes it very difficult to imagine where the money for its implementation is going to come from,” said Roseline Siyachitema, the Executive Director of Consumer Council of Zimbabwe, at a recent conference.
The plan identifies Food Security and Nutrition, Social Services and Poverty Eradication, Infrastructure and Utilities and Value Addition and Beneficiation as the main pillars of growth.
“The document is well crafted and its vision is noble but it does not identify or give a clue on the implementation mechanisms of some of its strategies. It does not have any set figures on how much is going to be availed, where and by whom and within what space of time,” said Siyachitema.
According to the ZimAsset, the financing mechanisms include tax and non-tax revenue and the Sovereign Wealth Fund.
Siyachitema said there was need to be specific on the targeted outcomes to provide room for assessment on whether progress was being made in the plan’s implementation.
Executive Director of the ZWRCN, Pamela Mhlanga, said the starting point was the allocation by government of adequate resources to the women’s ministry.
“This ministry has over the years been allocated less that 1 percent of the total budget and this makes programming and women’s participation in economic activities very difficult,” she said.
Melania Shayanewako of UNWOMEN said because issues specific to women in the plan were in the social cluster, there was need to invest in social issues such as service delivery.
“Poor service delivery affects women because they are the ones that spend most of their time doing unpaid work,” she said. Although the five-year economic blue print was gender sensitive, and considered gender equality in all the four clusters, there was need to address issues of access to resources and machinery to ensure that women were better positioned to realise maximum benefits.
The Office of the President and Cabinet have the mandate to monitor and evaluate the implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the plan. But analysts say this makes it difficult for civil society to participate fully. “There is need to make it inclusive and ensure that everyone is given an opportunity to participate without fear,” said a representative of another women’s group.
Colator Mawoko, chief economist at the Ministry of Industry and Commerce, said women should take advantage of government’s partnerships regionally and internationally to grow their businesses.
She said because the cost of doing business in Zimbabwe was high, there was need for women to form a critical mass and venture into smart regional partnerships.
“Women should identify pockets of funding and come together and find strategies of how to best engage in business using regional and international avenues such as Common Market of Eastern and Southern Africa,” she said.Post published in: News