MDC-T Senator Advises Finance Minister Not To Repay IMF, World Bank Loans

9 months ago
Sun, 01 Jan 2023 16:57:51 GMT
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MDC-T Senator Advises Finance Minister Not To Repay IMF, World Bank Loans

A senator belonging to the opposition MDC-T has advised Finance and Economic Minister Mthuli Ncube not to repay International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank loans saying the two Breton Woods institutions are enemies to Zimbabwe.

The senator, Tichinani Mavetera (Masvingo Province), who is also the MDC-T Chief Whip in the Senate, said the financing institutions have been influencing other financiers to refuse to bail out Zimbabwe. Open Parly quotes him as saying:

The other issue is of our foreign debt. I think the Minister is doing a sterling job in trying to make sure that we honour our external debt. It is not a bad idea, if you borrow, you should learn to pay back – it is a good behaviour.

However, I have a problem Madam President, if I borrow from you Madam President and you want me to pay back but you go around and encourage other people not to lend me money that will enable me to generate more money so that I pay you back, it is not good. At the moment what we are facing as a country, the Paris Group of Financial Institutions are the ones we owe more money but for the past two decades, they have not given us money, yet they want us to pay.

Not only that, but they also go around the world saying do not pay Zimbabwe. You will hear that Zimbabwe has got its image tainted, it is not tainted by anyone but it is being tainted by those Paris Club Financial Institutions, but the Minister is going around in trying to get money to pay them, what for?

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I think the issues which we are facing as a nation such as shortage of drugs, children are not going to school yet we want to spend our hard earned dollar paying those debts.

Let us put them on hold, probably we will never pay them, nyika haigone kutorwa, we will defend, and we buy guns from our friends for our defence. Definitely, those are the issues which we need to articulate, this budget is actually burdening the Zimbabwean populace.

As a nation, we do not need to pay IMF, we do need to pay World Bank because since I was a little boy and now am old; 20 years they have not given us anything. Yes, if you borrow and you do not pay back, they do not have to go around telling everyone to say: do not give him and then you come demanding your money. Those are our enemies, if I were to declare, I will declare them enemies of the State. We do not need them…

Therefore, Hon. Minister, you are spending energy on the wrong things. That is my comment as a citizen and as someone who has suffered from those policies. We do not need to perpetuate those ones. Yes, we have got an obligation to pay but the timing is wrong when we do not have drugs when we are dying and have got hunger.

Since coming to power in 2018, the Emmerson Mnangagwa-led government has made part of its priority to service the debts.

However, Senator Mavetera is against the idea, instead labelling the creditors as enemies of the country.

In his response to the senator, minister Mthuli Ncube said there have been positives that have come due to the servicing of the debt and that the country will continue with token payments. He said:

Then on the foreign debt, the Hon. Senator was eloquent that perhaps we should not be paying these token payments because we are getting nothing from these parastatals but we are getting something. Only that they do not wish to put those resources through central government but want to use other structures such as UNDP and so forth. 

The monies are coming but it is not at the same level as before, so it is a lot smaller but it is coming.  Our view was that we cannot clear our debts if we do not even begin to show that we are good debtors.  It is important to make these token payments and it is not strenuous on us as a government because we are able to make these small payments. 

He added that the payments work to normalise relations between Zimbabwe and the Paris Club, one of Zimbabwe’s major creditors.

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