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ZIMCODD calls for rigid management strategies as debt surges to US$19 bln

Business Reporter

THE Zimbabwe Coalition on Debt and Development (ZIMCODD) has called on government to urgently implement a robust debt sustainability plan underpinned by debt validation processes following revelations that the country’s total borrowings are now amounting to US$19, 03 billion.

Delivering the remarks at the close of the two days long Zimbabwe Public Debt Indaba held in Harare, the Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) grouping on debt called for seriousness in the management of the country’s debt crisis.

“There is need for robust debt sustainability plan underpinned by debt validation processes of the government should be viewed with a human rights lenses, with focus on vulnerable groups relying on government funded public services,” said ZIMCODD.

The CSOs group also called for the adoption of the policy mix to manage risks of contraction of public debt is key to a wide range of options including the reform of current weak legislative frameworks as well strengthening parliamentary oversight.

The Finance Ministry was commended for introducing an Annual Debt bulletin amid calls on the need to introduce comprehensive debt audits, public debt registers as well as legal reforms to limit debt contraction without parliamentary oversight.

“ Given the challenges , development of a Public Debt Register is key in light of blocked funds of US$3,5 billion that could be guaranteed by the RBZ to offset the impact of currency conversion, to enhance the due diligence by publishing beneficial owners of the affected business as well as enhancing  climate financing options to include, “said ZIMCODD.

The coalition added that the implementation of regional policies like the SADC Protocol on Finance and Investment and the formulation of the proposed SADC model Public Finance Management Law should be strengthened as critical building blocks for sustainable debt management plans aligned to international, regional and conditional benchmarks in all SADC countries.

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