Zimbabwe Tightens 2024 Budget Amid Economic Struggles

by Adenike Adeodun

David Mnangagwa, Zimbabwe’s Deputy Minister for Finance, Economic Development, and Investment Promotion, recently declared that the 2024 national budget is nearing completion. This announcement aligns with concerns over the depreciating local currency, which is impacting Treasury funds.

In pre-budget meetings, Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube stated that government entities requested a total of ZWL$110 trillion for 2024. However, Ncube noted that the Treasury can allocate only ZWL$47.8 trillion, 57% less than the requested sum. This allocation relies on projected revenue of ZWL$44.1 trillion, with plans to finance any deficit through debt securities.

At the Insurance Institute of Zimbabwe’s annual conference in Victoria Falls, Mnangagwa chose not to detail the budget figures. Instead, he assured that the upcoming budget, due in two weeks, would further fiscal consolidation and maintain tight monetary policy. Mnangagwa remarked, “The economic outlook is positive, yet resources are always limited.”

The imminent budget emerges as citizens call for more focus on social services, often underfunded in tight fiscal times. Healthcare, infrastructure, food security, and job creation are of particular concern.

According to a report by Newsday, Mnangagwa stressed that the budget would prioritize production and public welfare. “It will be pro-people, pro-production, and pro-business, enhancing production, infrastructure, and job opportunities, benefiting women and youth,” he explained.

Addressing money supply and currency devaluation, Mnangagwa noted a significant rise in money supply to ZWL$13.41 trillion by the end of August, up from ZWL$2.33 trillion the previous year. He confirmed, “The Treasury will limit the money supply to stabilize the currency. Most of the budget, around 95%, will come from tax revenues.”

He assured there are no intentions to print money for the 2024 budget. The government aims to reduce month-on-month inflation to 9-10%, in line with broader inflation control and economic stabilization strategies.

As Zimbabwe gears up for its 2024 budget amid economic challenges, the government’s focus is on striking a balance between fiscal responsibility and meeting the population’s needs.

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