We in the Zimbabwe Social Democrats call on the Paris Club, IMF, WB and all the other Financial Institutions and governments all over the world, particularly the Chinese, to stop extending financial assistances to the Zimbabwe government until President Mugabe has implemented meaningful democratic reforms.
The Zimbabwe is facing a serious economic meltdown, unemployment has soared to 90% and government is failing to pay its workers let alone pay for other necessities like consumables for hospitals and schools. The economic situation is clearly unsustainable.
It should be noted that this situation is of government’s own making following decades of gross mismanagement, corruption and lawlessness that have destroyed the country’s robust and promising economy it inherited at independence in 1980. President Mugabe’s regime borrow heavily during the first twenty years of our independence to fund its reckless spending and yet had very little to show for it.
The country’s debt ballooned to $10 billion and only stopped growing when the international financial institutions like the Paris Club, IMF, WB and individual nations in government to government funding stopped granting the Zimbabwe government more financial assistance because Harare was failing to service its existing debts.
There is increasing talk of IMF, WB and Paris Club renewing financial assistance to the Zimbabwe government. Tomorrow, 30 June 2013 a Zimbabwe government team led by Minister of Finance, Right Honourable Patrick Chimanasa, will be attent a Paris Club Conference in France to discuss the details of re-engagement.
We believe the Paris Club, IMF, WB and all the other key players are asking the Zimbabwe government to pay off all the outstanding interest changes on the existing debt, a sum of $1.8 billion. As noted above, the Zimbabwe government is failing to pay civil servant wages and so will never raise the $1.8 billion from its own sources. The regime is set to borrow the $1.8 billion so it can be allowed to borrow even more to pay for its bloated recurrent expenditure.
There is no evidence on the ground to suggest the Zanu PF government has abandoned is reckless spending, mismanagement and corruption of yesteryears that landed the nation in this financial and economic crisis.
The is no evodence of the Paris Club, IMF, etc., demanding an undertaking by this Zanu PF to carry out meaningful economic reforms to ensure the renewed financial assistance is used well and not end up increasing the national debt with nothing to show for it as before. If the Paris Club was to demand an end to corruption, for example, the country would be able to pay off its entire $10 billion debt straight away. President Mugabe admitted in March that $15 billion of Marange diamond wealth had been looted!
We in the Zimbabwe Social Democrats believe the only sure way to deliver meaningful economic recovery is by ensuring Zimbabwe has a competent government that can be trusted to tackle the economic problems of mismnagement and corruption that are killing the Zimbabwe economy. The only sure way to get a competent government is by ensuring the country has free, fair and credible elections.
During the 2008 to 2013 GNU, Zimbabwe had the political opportunity to ensure the next elections are free and fair, all the MDC party led by Morgan Tsvangirai had to do was implement the agreed democratic reforms. Sadly, after five years not even one reform was implemented and so President Mugabe was able to blatantly rig the 2013 elections and stay in power.
Since the 2013 elections the country‘s opposition parties have promised to implement the reforms so the next elections in 2018 will finally be free and fair and produce the competent and accountable government the nation solely need. Sadly this has not happened.
This week Tendai Biti, himself a former MDC Minister of Finance in the GNU, admitted that no reform will be implemented before the next elections. So, unless there is some other way of pressuring Zanu PF to accept political reforms, Zimbabwe is set for yet another Zanu PF rigged election.
The only other viable way of forcing Zanu PF to accept political reforms is what we have right now – the worsening economic situation. The regime must be told in no uncertain terms that the only way to end the soaring unemployment, cash shortage, etc., is by implementing the democratic reforms and have free and fair elections.
What the Paris Club, IMF, etc.,are offering by opening the taps for new funding is allow this Zanu PF regime to resume its reckless spending, increase the national debt burden without delivering any real meaningful economic recovery. The arrangement will certainly buy Zanu PF time to keep the economy ticking to the next elections which the party can rig and secure another five years in power.
What the people of Zimbabwe need is an end to the economic and political chaos that has cause so much suffering and misery and deaths. They need a cure to the present corrupt, incompetent and tyrannical system of government and implementing the reforms is that cure. They would be better off enduring another year of the present economic meltdown or whatever it takes to force this Zanu PF regime to accept meaningful political reforms than take the painkillers Paris Club and friends are offering
There is no doubt whatsoever that renewing financial assistance to this corrupt and oppressive Zanu PF regime at this point will help the regime avoid the pressure to implement meaningful political reforms whilst increasing the nation’s debt burden. We, in the Zimbabwe Social Democrats, therefore call upon the Paris Club and their friends to ask themselves whose interests they are serving in granting financial assistance to President Mugabe because it is certainly not the interests of the long suffering people of Zimbabwe.
Zimbabwe Social Democrats.