The Minister of Finance and Public Enterprises, Ipumbu Shiimi, is on a visit to the Zambezi Region to consult with the regional council leadership and other stakeholders to seek their input on next year's national budget.

Shiimi said consultations with stakeholders on the national budget are crucial for the planning process.

"And the budget can only be effective if it is informed by those on the ground who understand the development needs of our people. Because if you only look at the budget in Windhoek without going to you, who are on the ground, we will not be addressing the real needs of the people, and therefore it is important for us now and then to have a conversation with you and to listen to you. We may not be able to satisfy all the needs in one go, but it's important that we make progress."

Zambezi Governor, Alufea Sampofu, stated that decentralisation is not working at the speed intended, noting that it causes delays in the execution of government projects because functions are still administered from the headquarters in Windhoek.

"If we are talking about regional government, it means all ministries should decentralise to regional government so that services reach the grassroots. That is why we find that if things are not going well, people will say the regional government is sending money back to the Treasury; it is not one ministry that is given money to implement in their region; they don't implement it because it is engineered in Windhoek and nobody here is controlling it. There are some projects that come to the region, and we only hear about them; even the councillor will not be informed that there are people working in Sibbinda Constituency."

Shiimi will also hold a business community meeting at Katima Mulilo, a public lecture at Katima Mulilo UNAM Campus, and visit the Masubia, Mafwe, Mayeyi, and Mashi traditional authorities.

He will also visit unfinished national projects such as the Zambezi Water Front, the Kalimbeza National Rice Project, and the Kongola Crocodile Project.



Sililo Mubiana