IMF and World Bank re-engagement must be principled

The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) takes notice of the continued reengagement efforts between the government of Zimbabwe and its creditors namely the IMF, World Bank and AfDB which are aimed at clearing US$ 1.8 billion arrears on Zimbabwe’s debt pursuant to the Lima agreement.

pdpAs we rightly declare in the Mandel Declaration of 2014 that we believe Zimbabwe’s discussions with the IMF, World Bank and other creditors on the question of debt should be concluded soon to allow Zimbabwe access to funds that should be used to address the infrastructural challenges we face.

Therefore as the PDP we firmly believe in the principle of re-engagement but however we hold that such engagement must be undertaken in an environment of mutual trust, honesty and be inclusive of all the critical social and political actors.

In our view parliament must play a critical role as the representative of the people, civil society must be given space to input into the process and labour must also be involved to represent the interest of the workers who after all will pay the debt through their taxes.

Furthermore, any reengagement must take into account critical reforms in the political and economic environment. It would be futile to give a bail out to ZANU PF without due consideration of the prevailing political volatility characterized by continued human rights violations and total disregard of the rule of law as well as general economic decay.

Almost one year on, the state has failed to account for the disappearance of human rights activist Itai Dzamara and has in fact upped its violence on ordinary citizens as witnessed by the indiscriminate assaulting of residents in Chitungwiza and the bashing of protesting teachers in Harare early in 2016.

More critically on the political front, the ZANU PF government itself is in transition from Robert Mugabe and there has been an outbreak of unprecedented catfights for power which have destabilized the government.

Thus for any serious engagement to bear fruits there is need for stability which is an ingredient ZANU PF does not have for now and going into the future. Under the circumstances reengagement is futile.

On the economic front, the government payroll is still burden by over 250 000 ghost workers who were recruited ahead of the contested 2013 general election.

The government is failing to maintain a primary balance of accounts and is spending more than it’s earning using toxic treasury bills to sustain its avid appetite to spend. Recently state resources to the tune of US$500 000 were poured into Robert Mugabe’s US$800 000 birthday bash.

Land grabs continue unabated with the government recently gazetting 15 pieces of land. The state has not yet set up a land commission as required by the constitution to put a closure to the land question and begin to push for productivity as well as ensuring security of tenure through proper issuing of title deeds to those resettled.

Parastatals continue to be an albatross consuming government revenue as they continue to post huge looses yet the government has proved to be unwilling to reform their operations.

The irony is actually that while the state owned entities are making huge looses including the state run mobile telecoms company Netone, the state recently acquired another mobile telecoms company Telecel which is for all intents and purposes a junk company.

What all this shows is that ZANU PF is not sincere in its engagement and it would be foolhardy for any institution to take them seriously. As PDP we remain clear on the route to another Zimbabwe as set out in our policy blueprints HOPE and ARREST.

Released by;

Willias Madzimure
PDP Secretary for International Relations

Post published in: News
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