Legislators and Civic Society leaders have urged the government to be transparent on the debt that has virtually blocked the government from accessing funding from international money lenders, Newsday reports.
The matter came to light in a virtual discussion on the country’s debt situation which was followed by thousands of Zimbabweans on social media. Different people including legislators spoke about the country’s domestic debt of US$12 Billion and foreign debt of $8 Billion.
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ZCTU’s Peter Mutsa described the country as a “failed state” and cited poverty, poor governance, deteriorating infrastructure and rampant corruption among other things:
In 2013, the country’s external debt was US$5,8 billion and now it is US$8 billion and it shows that our priorities have been very wrong as we have been spending on wrong things like the war in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and yet our poverty levels are at 74% and 34% of people are in abject poverty and the infrastructure is decaying.
All these debts are incurring huge interest which is heaped on the taxpayer and what we have now is a failed State which we need to rebuild through active citizenry
ZIMCODD executive director Janet Zhou questioned what the domestic debt was acquired for:
From the domestic debt front, we saw a leap from November 2017 of domestic debt from US$4 billion to US$9,5 billion in a period of eight months and there are still questions on what this domestic debt was acquired for
Legislator Felix Mhona who is also the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Budget and Finance chairperson said Parliament was yet to put measures in place to punish debt procedures non-compliance arms of the state:
…while Parliament had exposed lack of compliance on debt procedures, the legislative framework still needed strengthening to ensure the Legislature has teeth to punish non-compliant arms of the State
Priscilla Misihairaabwi Mushonga commenting on the issue blamed capitalists and said:
The State has been literally taken over by capitalists in the private sector.