Parliament has held the inaugural post-budget feedback public hearings, with a variety of input from the public, including calls for more resources to be channelled towards social protection, especially for vulnerable children.
The meetings will be held throughout the week at centres across the country in line with Parliament’s objective to increase public participation in policy making.
The first meeting was held on Monday in Harare.
Mr Gift Dzingai from the Zimbabwe Caregivers Network called for more resources to be channelled towards social protection, especially of vulnerable children.
He welcomed the increase in the grant for children in difficult circumstances from $200 to $1 000 but urged Government to continuously review the amounts in line with cost of living.
Mr Dzingai also called for the creation of a fund to cater for children aged between 16 and 18, who would have left care homes but who are still at school or in training and yet to earn a living.
He said most of these children were not empowered to fend for themselves and have nowhere to turn to for their upkeep, and recommended that a department within the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare, be established to cater for their needs.
Other challenges he cited include lack of access to registration documents.
Mr Learnmore Nyamutsamba said Government needed to review the manner it assesses poverty levels to include other non-monetary indices.
“I propose that Government adopts what is called multi-dimensional poverty index which includes non-monetary items so that we have a true reflection of poverty levels in the country,”
Presently, the Poverty Datum Line is calculated using a food basket for a family of six.
He also called for the revamping of the public transport system to ease the challenges being faced by commuters.
A Bindura University of Science Education student, Mr Kudakwashe Matara, said Government needed to re-introduce student grants as a number of students we dropping out or deferring their studies due to the high fees being charged.
Ms Fadzai Midzi said Government needed to curb leakages of minerals, especially gold, to boost Government revenues.
“We have a budget deficit and it can only be reduced if we curb leakages of minerals and other practices such as tax avoidance, profit shifting among others,”