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Zimbabweans labour under Zanu-PF debt concrete slab

31 Jul 2020 at 07:56hrs | Views
ONE thing that makes me smile when I think constitutional democracy an elected government that shows unwavering love for its citizens. In perfect liberal or social democracies, elected governments fear citizens. The State submits itself to the whims and idiosyncrasies of those that give it power. Parliament becomes the last frontier, nay, paragon of public accountability.

It is not so in Zimbabwe.

No sooner we ‘elect' a government than they start shooting, arresting and stealing from us all in the name of 'popular mandate'. It seems we vote for a government only for it to cheat us and ultimately violate our rights. Whenever we differ with our rulers, they respond with tougher laws and vindictive Statutory Instruments. Our government is devoid of compassion. Decree, arrest and incarceration are their favoured choice of rule.

I feel aggrieved and depressed reading the Zimbabwe Coalition on Debt and Development (Zimcodd) policy documents. The magnitude of our nation's indebtedness is catastrophic. Why would an underdeveloped country owe US$20 billion and yet citizens remain powerless on accountability? Were these debts incurred for 'development' purposes, how is it that Zimbabwe remains so derelict?

I submit two options to correct this anomaly.

First, Zimcodd must 'harness' the litigation leverage of Zimbabwe Lawyers for human Rights, Legal Resources Foundation and Veritas. This sharpens enforceability of the Constitution of Zimbabwe, Public Debt Management Act, the Reserve Bank Act [Chapter 22:15], the Public Finance Management Act [Chapter 22:19] and Auditor General's Report.

Class action is an antidote to compel the Zanu-PF government to explain what happened to the US$20 billion and other 'megadeals' signed on our behalf. This calls for a concerted effort on the part of Zimcodd to enlighten citizens on how national debt negatively affects their lives and why they should act urgently. Zimcodd emphasises that this indebtedness carries strong genes of corruption, hence my grief.

Second, according to Zimcodd policy briefs, stakeholder voices inclusive of civil society, labour, business, and academia are clamouring for greater recourse to domestic resource mobilisation. This is the potential solution to persistent debt risk in Zimbabwe. The country boasts of natural resources from which it can raise domestic capital. Zimbabwe is endowed with huge tracts of arable land, timber, wild life, and fisheries and almost unlimited mineral reserves, including lithium, gold, coal, iron ore, chromium ore, diamonds, vanadium, asbestos, nickel, and copper among others.

In addition, Zimcodd also argues that the country can earn revenues from a variety of sources including taxes levied on personal and corporation incomes, goods and services, properties and tourism. It is possible to have a strong National Sovereign Wealth Fund from these various revenue sources. however, Zimbabwe needs an enlightened citizenry to demand this.

Source - the independent
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