Ministry of Finance must disclose terms of the $200 million AFREXIM loan

by Tariro Senderayi

Harare West Member of Parliament, Jessie Majome during the recent debate on the Bond Note Bill,  demanded that the Minister of Finance make privy to the house and the nation the terms and conditions of the loan which created the $200 million facility.

“I am deeply concerned by the aura of opaqueness, mystery and lack of transparency and indeed lack of truth around fundamental issues that surround the manner in which the bond note is being introduced” she said. 

She went on further to say that the Finance Minister cleverly avoided a responsibility by indicating that, that particular $200 million Afrexim Bank that is said to support the bond notes was not infact a loan but a facility.

In the same vein she demanded that the Minister disclose to the nation the whole truth and nothing but the truth surrounding this whether there is a difference between a facility and a loan. And in the event that there is a difference between a loan facility and a loan itself, the Minister is mandated to tell Zimbabweans in the event that it was a facility, it would mean that a facility has a parent and that parent is a loan.  Hence, it means that there must be some parent loan agreement somewhere which then gave rise to this thing that the Minister is calling a facility which he says is not a loan but indeed is a loan.

With regards to the performance of the loan, she specifically highlighted that she does not recall since the passing of the Constitution, the Honourable Minster coming to the August House at least twice a year as demanded  by Section 300(4)  to inform the house on how this loan that gave rise to the $200 million facility is performing. Hon. Majome insisted that the Minister should not forget his obligation to report back and that before December 2017, there must be a report from the Finance Minister about the performance of the loan. 

She urged the Minister  “to be honest and to come clean on the true rationale for the bond notes and state why, if the problem is a cash shortage and not a money shortage, why it is that even outside the country where there is no cash shortage bank withdrawal limit of $50 still applies.”

The existence of the bond notes was ushered in by the Presidential Temporary Measures Act which is not in line with the provisions of the Constitution. Honourable Majome further quizzed the Minister on why this pseudo money was imposed by the unconstitutional Presidential Powers Act.

In the January 2017 we saw how the Portfolio Committee for the Ministry of Education was struggling with the issue of being expected to rubber stamp budgets without having been made privy to the quarterly report that speaks into how the budget allocation of the previous year was utilized. This was raised by Honourable Majome that this rubber stamping of done deals must stop.

 

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