As part of my work I have had go through the massive 3 volume Budget Estimates that have been handed to the MPs that give a breakdown of sorts of what the amounts allocated for different ministries and departments are. They are broken down by Capital and Recurrent Expenditure and are deliberately meant to confuse as the trumped up names and users get ever more fanciful.
What surprised me further was that some of the details given in the past have also been left out, where for example the pages allocated to the expenditure of the Ministry of Economic Development have been reduced from 60 last year to 30 this year.
Further it is very apparent from the speeches of the Parliament on the Budget debate that 90% of the MPs of the Government do not know their way around this set of volumes, nor do they care what is in them. Their speeches do not bear any resemblance to the Budget and merely gloat over the inability of the opposition to make any electoral mileage from any of the accusations they make against the Govt.
I presume they know that whatever is in them are in any way trumped up, as history has shown that the real numbers disbursed bear NO resemblance to the estimates. In the end with a gap of 35% of the expected revenue, (deficit) the Treasury will just dole out funds on an as needed basis, where the end year totals show no resemblance to the original estimates.
Even worse, many promises made this year about expected capital expenditure, are NOT in the Budget estimates, implying they are mere promises with NO intention of being honored, another deception.
The speeches of the Govt. side show such arrogance of power, with scant regard to any of the belabored accusations of the opposition, which for the most part are real, and do not get any traction amongst the people, as even they do not appear to care, that the faults of the Govt. are aired and one should at least understand the magnitude of the scam taking place.
The poverty figures are being fudged, whilst the real value of any subsidy or social welfare is being fudged and the recipients are not the deserving, but merely those whose payments are tied to some form of obligation to the Govt. for support or active party affiliation.
While it is incumbent on the opposition to inform the public, due to many constraints in the media the message is not getting across. Even more startling is that the opposition is also accused of not doing anything about it, an indication of the mismatch between perception created by a controlled media and reality.
It is time concerned citizens do their own part in the interests of the people of this country by engaging people in what is happening and educating them as to the most urgent issues of public concern, and steps to take in combating blatant thievery.
The problem is that the issues are so many and the daily dose of these can be so overwhelming that one fails to isolate the most important one to highlight.
I appeal to the people who can think to take the first steps in this process so that we may prevent descent into the nether regions from whence we may never be able to return.