–Citizen’s budget sensitization meeting

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Citizen’s budget sensitization meeting
Chinsali, March 13, 2013, ZANIS…Muchinga province permanent secretary
Charles Sipanje says influencing the outcome of a national budget
is the hallmark of a participatory democracy.

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Mr. Sipanje said one cannot participate in an environment they
cannot understand adding that this is the reason why the Patriotic
Front (PF) government is committed to simplifying the contents of the
national budget by devising a simplified version.

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He said government recognizes that citizens are only able to hold the
government accountable if and when they have access to information.

Mr. Sipanje said having access to information will enable citizens to
meaningfully participate in the affairs of the country.

He said it is for this reason that the Ministry of Finance developed
the citizen’s budget which is a simplified version of the national
budget which aimed at addressing the information gap between the
government and the people.


The permanent secretary added that the publication is targeted at the ordinary citizen
saying that was why it is presented in a clear and simple manner
reflecting the essential elements as contained in the 2013 national
budget.


Mr. Sipanje said the document is also a part of government’s effort
for more transparency and accountability in the management of public
resources.
Mr. Sipanje said this in a speech read on his behalf by
provincial Assistant Secretary Chiwele Kondonone during a sensitization
meeting on the Citizens’ Budget held in Chinsali today.


He said it is the responsibility of every Zambian citizen to improve
the national livelihood and  urged them to help the government by monitoring
how the resources allocated to various programmes and activities are
utilized.


And speaking in an interview with Zambian News and Information
Services (ZANIS) soon after the meeting, Principal Budget Analyst in
the Ministry of Finance, Willis Chipango said sensitization meetings
are being conducted in all the 10 provinces.


Mr Chipango said Zambia is not the first country to use such a
document citing Brazil and Kenya among others as some of the
countries who are using the same concept.


Speaking on behalf of Chinsali residents in a vote of thanks, Chinsali
District Farmers Union( DFU) chairperson Aggrey  Musamba commended the
government for the  citizen`s budget adding that it
will enhance citizen’s understanding on the key policies and
objectives of the budget.


The government launched the country’s first Citizen’s Budget
last month on February 26.

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