BY KENNETH NYANGANI
AN economist has said Zimbabwe should cut military expenditure and channel the resources towards revival of the health sector and economy.
Prosper Chitambara made the remarks yesterday in Mutare at the Labour and Economic Development Research Institute of Zimbabwe (LEDRIZ) engagement workshop with local scribes.
“We can do without a military. Let’s reduce the personnel in the army because we are not under any threat, but channel more resources to health and social services. For example, Japan has channelled more resources to health and social services than to the army,” he said
“We have found out that if you address health and social services chances of an uprising are very low, so I am urging my country to be like Japan.”
Government has been accused of channelling more financial resources towards the military for fears of an uprising as dissent increases due to a collapsing economy, amid a wave of human rights abuses.
Last month, secretary for Defence Mark Grey Marongwe said the Defence ministry requires $25 billion in 2020 if the value of the local currency against the United State dollar stays the same. The money would mostly be channelled towards funding of the national army.
Chitambara said the government has fallen short on policies that benefit people and jobs provision.
“We have seen decisions that only benefit people in the short term; our government policies are meant to benefit people in short term, but will cry in the long term. We have an example of freebies, printing money and borrowing, we have also noticed that State enterprises have been captured for political expediency,” he said
“African countries rely more on extractive industries and the industry is heavily capitalised and very few jobs are created. We need to create more jobs if we want to fight poverty because through jobs we can fight poverty,” he said