‘Coronavirus: 2020 Zim Budget to be revised’

Coronavirus Watch Top Stories Zimbabwe

Takudzwa Chihambakwe

Zimbabwe President Emmerson Mnangagwa says the 2020 National Budget will be revised due to the impact of the coronavirus.

The President was addressing the nation on Friday afternoon from State House as he gave updates on what Government and its various partners are doing to fight the spread of the virus which has since resulted in the death of one person in the country.

“…Government has put in place immediate fiscal and monetary measures and interventions to protect our economy. The 2020 National Budget will be revised and reprioritized to ensure adequate fiscal buffers in the wake of the ravaging threat by the pandemic,” said the President.

“We are aware that the lockdown comes at great cost to livelihoods of our highly informalised economy. Therefore, we have committed to providing social safety nets to ensure that vulnerable households are sustained during this challenging period.”

The President’s sentiments come at a time when Finance Minister, Professor Mthuli Ncube highlighted that the lockdown will see Government losing about ZWL$80 million in revenue due to the lockdown.

He also said that apart from the focus on the pandemic, it is important to keep the economy moving forward during the lockdown.

“Going forward government and the business sector must work together to minimize the effects of shocks and lessen the magnitude of an economic downturn due to this pandemic. The wheels of industry must keep turning for the sake of our survival,” he emphasized.

The President also said food supplies must be guaranteed with minimum disruptions.

“Farmers must continue to produce for our nation under this lockdown. Farmers and traders alike must continue to deliver produce to markets including those markets that supply our cities, towns and growth points. I therefore direct our security arms to ensure passage of food supply. All agriculture activity must remain undisturbed throughout the period of the lockdown,” the President said.