By Sukuoluhle Ndlovu
Social and economic justice coalition, Zimbabwe Coalition on Debt and Development (ZIMCODD) has urged government to be transparent and fair in the disbursement of the US$961 million received from the International Monetary Fund.
The government of Zimbabwe has been recommended to not only prioritise the private sector but allocate some funds to areas of social importance.
The money will also help the government to cushion its citizens from the negative impacts of Covid-19.
In the Weekly Reader published by Zimbabwe Coalition on Debt and Development (ZIMCODD) said the SDR must be used in strengthening key social safety nets.
“This US$961 million from the IMF throws a lifeline to the Zimbabwean government as it comes at a time the Treasury is facing a limited fiscal space to cushion the citizenry from the negative impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic. The cost of living remains too high for the majority. Hence the government should not prioritize only the private sector but also invest the allocation in areas of social importance such as health, education, water, and sanitation.
Also the money can be used in strengthening key social safety nets such as investment in mass transit. This will ensure sustainable and equitable economic growth that leaves no one behind. However, all this only comes when the SDR allocation is managed in a transparent and accountable manner to thwart misappropriation and spending to strengthen unsustainable policies,” ZIMCODD said.
The government however promised to use the funds for the benefit of the whole nation.
“With utmost accountability, we are to support the social sectors namely health, education and the vulnerable groups, productive sectors that include industry, agriculture and mining; infrastructure investment covering roads and housing and foreign currency reserves and contingency fund is commendable,”
The SDRs were allocated on the 23rd of August 2021 through the IMF to a value of US$650 billion to all its 190 members.
SDR is an international reserve asset that was created by the IMF in 1969 to supplement the reserve assets of its members. A general allocation of the SDRs should promote the achievement of IMF’s purposes avoiding GDP stagnation and deflation.
The minister of Finance and Economic Development, Prof Mthuli Ncube strengthened that the funds will be sued to support social sectors and the vulnerable groups and can also strengthen resilience and minimize risks of both economic and social weaknesses worsened by the pandemic.
The funds received will also help the government accelerate vaccine procurement and administration to facilitate a safe and fast re-opening of the economy.