HARARE – Zimbabwe Coalition on Debt and Development (ZIMCODD) has urged the government and key stakeholders to come up with a sustainable and inclusive debt management framework which addresses among others debt audits as key solutions to deal with the debt crisis the country is currently faced with.
Zimbabwe over the years continues in debt stress and unsustainable fiscal deficit with current debt stock standing at a massive $US18.491 billion half of which is foreign debt, 114 percent of GDP way above the legal threshold.
After coming into power, the new political dispensation led by President Emmerson Mnangagwa has accelerated re-engagement efforts with the World Bank, IMF, African Development Bank (AfDB), European Investment Bank and bi-lateral creditors as enunciated in the 2018 national budget statement.
Government has however faced hurdles on this course, with one of the highlights being Britain which was leading an initiative to convince LIMA group creditors that Zimbabwe was on the right path under the new political administration forfeited its backing following a massive crackdown of security forces on civilians in the aftermath of January fuel protests.
Addressing delegates at a high level debt conference in Harare on Thursday, ZIMCODD executive director Janet Zhou said that there is need to come up with a comprehensive debt audit which allows for a comprehensive analysis of the money is received, from who and what it was used for.
“As ZIMCODD we’re pleading and engaging with stakeholders to consider having a sustainable and inclusive debt management framework and it has four components. One is the need to have a comprehensive debt audit,” she said.
“So the debt audit we believe that as a first step will inform the debt resolution, it will also inform how we go about future borrowing by the state, it will also address the issue of coming up with a debt strategy that will ensure that there is debt sustainability and it should have a human rights action plan in it in terms of bringing the nexus between and human rights.”
Other solutions to the debt crisis she mentioned include a multi-stakeholder set of solutions including ZIDERA repeal; Leadership commitment and political will; a knowledge base, fiscal discipline and accountability as well as open government, access to information and data about government dealings.
-Equity Axis News