By Daniel Chigundu
THE People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has warned the African Development Bank (AfDB) against helping Zimbabwe before it implements the necessary economical, social and political reforms.
AfDB Board is expected to meet on December 7 to consider the rollover of Zimbabwe’s debt from Pillar 11 funds. In this meeting, the AfDB will seek authority from its shareholders who are the African governments and regional shareholders.
Zimbabwe is currently saddled in a huge foreign debt in excess of US$11 billion inclusive of arrears and owes the AfDB about US$601 million.
In a statement PDP national spokesperson Jacob Mafume said at the time Zimbabwe makes this request, the country is mired in a huge ocean of political, social and economic challenges that require serious reform before any sort of help can be extended to the country.
“For Zimbabwe to earn the support of the international community, it must reform. In the past we have consistently maintained that there is need for key reforms to be in place. These reforms include; security of the tenure of land, the respect of the Constitution and the rule of law, media and electoral reforms and the repealing of the Indigenisation and Empowerment Act.
“When in September, Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa tried to show some modicum of reforms in the deferment of civil servants bonuses in 2016 and reducing the salaries of top civil servants, this was shot down by Zanu PF to prove that they are not ready for reforms.
“The civil servants wage bill remains the elephant in the living room and the same government wants to recruit thousands of persons to join the military service. Another issue is corruption, which has reached endemic levels. Zimbabwe is now losing 60 percent in every dollar due to massive leakages through corruption.
“Given the above scenario, it will be wrong for the AfDB, African governments and the international partners in supporting this rogue regime. We therefore maintain that the AfDB must remove Zimbabwe from its agenda of its meeting on 7 December,” he said.
Mafume urged African governments to instead stand up to Zimbabwe on issues of brutality and human rights violations, which has seen the likes of Itai Dzamara disappearing and peaceful protestors being beaten and arrested.
The PDP spokesperson added that those who will extend loans to Zimbabwe at this time risk losing their money as future democratic governments will not honour them and will consider them as audacious debts.
Mafume said only Zimbabweans are better placed to know what is best for this country, adding the what is needed at the moment is supporting issues of democratic reforms and not financing the rogue regime.
“As the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), we are totally sick of the efforts of the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the AfDB of continuing to seek to help a rogue regime against the ordinary citizens.
“This is our country and we know what is best for the country. What is best for our country is not to support the rogue regime but rather to support democratic change, democratic reforms and a sustainable Zimbabwe,” he said.