Opposition MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa Thursday expressed fear that the government could misuse the money the country received from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for electioneering.
Zimbabwe received US$961 million from the IMF under its special drawing rights (SDRs) and Finance minister Mthuli Ncube said part of the money would be used to stabilise the local currency, among other functions.
MDC Alliance, however, is sceptical that the funds will be used responsibly. The party’s spokesperson, Advocate Fadzayi Mahere said the ruling party was likely going to use the money to woo the electorate ahead of the 2023 elections. Said Mahere in a statement:
The past is replete with examples of how the regime misuses public funds to fund election campaigns. There is no reason to believe that this time it will be any different.
The SDRs received by Zimbabwe should, in IMF’s own words, help the economic conjuncture and the stage of the COVID-19 pandemic, the adequacy of reserves, the availability of fiscal and monetary policy space, domestic and external debt sustainability and financial stability, financing constraints and other country-specific factors.
We call for the Auditor-General’s Office to be capacitated to audit, monitor and report timeously to the people of Zimbabwe on how these funds are being disbursed.
We further urge journalists and citizens to be alert and expose corruption wherever it manifests and to demand accountability. By holding the government to account, we will ensure the SDRs reach the intended vulnerable members of our society and be used in the fight against COVID-19.
Mahere said Zimbabwe received SDRs amounting to US$400 million after the 2008 global financial crisis and used US$140 million to repay its loan to the IMF.
She added that being accountable and transparent sends a message to the international community that Zimbabwe is keen on solving its external debt, and also builds goodwill with bilateral and multilateral lenders.
Corruption is one of the factors that have contributed much to the collapse of the Zimbabwean economy.