A Zimbabwean Analyst commending in South Africa’s Mail and Guardian has explained why debt is a human rights issue for Africa. Muchena said debt is a human rights issue because all countries in Southern Africa that are debt-ridden are failing to deliver on essential basic goods and infrastructure:
Public debt is a human rights issue because many countries in Southern Africa that owe large amounts of money are failing to deliver on essential public goods and infrastructure. These public services are often captured in bills of rights, thus making them a constitutional obligation rather than a nice to have. Long-term development goals are, therefore, placed at severe risk.
Muchena gave a lot of examples including Zimbabwe. and he said our debt of about $18 Billion has crippled the government to the extent of failing to provide even the most basic commodity:
For example, Zimbabwe, with a public debt of more than $18-billion, is in a precarious financial position. It is unable to meet many of its fundamental human rights obligations: people are being turned away from hospitals and essential basic supplies for treating cancer and other serious conditions are lacking.
The dire situation was made even worse when dozens of people died in a 2018 cholera outbreak 10 years after another outbreak killed more than 4 300 people. Such epidemics have been exacerbated by Zimbabwe’s failure to invest in and manage its basic water and sanitation infrastructure and its healthcare system, owing to servicing huge debts, as well as misappropriation of public funds.
More: Mail And Guardian