By Sukuoluhle Ndlovu
Local organisations, AFRODAD and ZIMCODD have said there is need for improved debt governance in Zimbabwe.
This came out at an annual Multi-Stakeholder Debt Conference held in Harare last week under the theme, Strengthening Debt Governance in Zimbabwe in the context of Covid -19.
According to ZIMCODD the main reasons for the debt crisis the country is in are external and internal forces and Africa at large. The rise in corruption cases continues to cripple the economy.
Young people who constitute more than 65% of the total population and women are disproportionately bearing the debt burden. The high debt in the country has also let down the local governments, state enterprises and parastatals gravely affecting their operations.
The ZIMCODD Weekly Reader compiled from the Debt Conference recommendations reads, “There is need for inclusive debt management framework that will encompass a multi stakeholder approach. Also, national Treasury should table a Charter of Fiscal responsibilities and ensure policy consistency. There is also need for a comprehensive and independent debt audit with parliament participation.
“All loans must be contracted in line with the provisions of the Constitution and other Acts of parliament. Transparency can be improved through the adoption of the International Public Sector Accounting as well as capacitating anti-corruption like parliament and ZACC.”
The Reader added that there is need to implement good governance through implementation of the OAG reports and ensure independence of state institutions and local governance.
‘The government should do away with borrowing to invest in lavish projects for the rich but borrowing to support social service delivery and the value chains. Promoting value addition and beneficiation of minerals will reduce unsustainable extraction and exportation of minerals in their raw form. Also government should not mortgage public resources and assets in exchange for loans as default may lead to grave consequences.”
Between 1980 -2017, Zimbabwe has had 7 droughts, 22 epidemics, 12 floods, 7000 deaths and 20 million affected with a total cost of US$950million.