Water Aid Country Director Pamela Chisanga has described the 2018 national budget as the most uninspiring in Zambia’s history.
In her post budget analyzing, Ms Chisanga said a budget without budget accountability is a huge scam.
She said, “Having gone through the budget, I was tempted to share my analysis of the budget but I decided it was really pointless. I was invited to a post budget discussion yesterday that I did not attend because I realised that these post budget discussions do not really achieve much.”
“A budget without budget accountability is a huge scam. This is where we seem to have lost it. It is common knowledge that each year, all resources allocated to basic social sectors have not been disbursed in many years and this this is now somewhat standard practice,” she said.
Ms Chisanga stated that the for the water and sanitation sector, disbursements have been around 40% while utilisation is another challenge.
“I visited a school last week that has not received any government grant for the last 3 years. The grant is only about K600 and even in years when they have received, they have not had more than 3 disbursements in a year!”
“What happens to the rest of the resources? Is the money diverted to ‘critical’ areas such as 42 fire engines for $42m?”
She has also questioned government’s promise of distributing free sanitary pads to girls in public schools.
“What has happened to the sanitary towels that were promised to our young girls in schools? Other countries emulated our brilliant initiative and they have implemented while we remain with the flowery budget presentation,” she stated.
“As we have all these budget discussions, breakfast meetings and so forth, the best we can do is take govt to task and hold them accountable for the 2017 budget execution,” Ma Chisanga said.
“Overall, I find the 2018 budget the most uninspiring in our nations history.”