By Thandiwe Garusa
THE opposition MDC Alliance led by Nelson Chamisa has demanded transparency in the disbursement US$961 million received recently from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
The funds came through from IMF’s Special Drawing Rights (SDR) facility and are aimed at increasing liquidity across the global economies.
Zimbabwe’s allocation was transferred into the Zimbabwe Reserve Bank (RBZ) account.
However, in a statement Thursday, the MDC Alliance spokesperson Fadzayi Mahere said the opposition party was demanding accountability on how “every cent” was going to be used.
“As a government-in-waiting, our priority is to be vigilant and call for transparency and stronger scrutiny of how the SDR’s will be disbursed. They must be used for the benefit of the people and not be looted by political elites. Safety nets must be availed to the poor,” she said.
Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube told the media this week that US$500 million would be used to save the battered Zimbabwe dollar.
However, Mahere called for the Auditor-General’s office to be capacitated on how the funds would be disbursed.
“We call for the Auditor-General’s office to be further capacitated to audit, monitor and report timeously to the people of Zimbabwe on how these funds are being disbursed. We further urge journalists and citizens to be alert and expose corruption wherever it manifests and to demand accountability,” she said.
“By holding the government to account, we will ensure the SDR’s reaches the intended vulnerable members of our society and be used in the fight against Covid-19.”
Mahere added the MDC Alliance was concerned the Zanu PF government would misappropriate the funds and divert them for the 2023 national elections.
“Zanu PF, given a bit of fiscal space, heading towards an election is likely to use the money for electioneering if not held to account. The past is replete with examples of how the regime misuses funds to fund election campaigns. The current levels of corruption in the country and our unsustainable debt is precisely what the IMF is warning against.
“The risk of misuse is very high. At the same time the precarious macro-economic environment which requires attention could be delayed. no reason to believe this time it will be any different.”