By Andile Mvundla
Government has been urged to formulate an inclusive budget that will cater for the youth and vulnerable members of the society in order to meet the sustainable development goals .
Speaking during the 2022 National Budget Public Consultations held in Bulawayo on Wednesday ,residents called for a budget that prioritizes meeting needs such as job creation , sustainable health and living for the vulnerable .
A representative from the Women Institute For Leadership Development(WILD), Jennifer Kaoma said government should include the youths in its budget and ensure that vocational centers are re-opened.
“School levers are struggling especially the girl child they are now forced to kill time in places that are not conducive . Young men are now resorting to drug and substance abuse and a majority of them are being incarcerated. As government we request that you look into these issues and come up with alternatives that can help these young people”.
Another speaker, Ferguson Tsvangirai said that the government has to increase budget allocations disbursed to support youths who want to engage in entrepreneurship programs which will boost employment creation .
“My request was that government should increase budget allocations for entrepreneurship programs. The youth are the leaders of tomorrow who are working to promote the country and economy. Financial support would be critical to ensure that they manage to achieve this. ”
Sifikile Nkala from the Women in Africa requested that government should consider maternity funding for women such as payment of pregnancy fee in clinics and hospitals around the city as most women struggle to access maternal health care services.
“If government looks into the issue of paying fees for pregnant women it will help solve the problem of birth registration . Most mothers are failing to acquire birth certificates for their children because they would not have covered maternal fees that ensure that they get birth records to get the certificates”.
Speaking during the same meeting, Mr Oswald Ndlovu, commented that there is need for pension funding to support citizens who have retired from their jobs in order for them to survive and continue fending for their families.
“Make it a law that pensioners payouts should exceed the poverty datum level . We are struggling to make ends meet because our payouts are not enough considering the continuous price hikes.”
The 2022 budget consultation meetings are being held nationwide and are set to run until the 15th of October.