WHEN a Member of Parliament demanded full disclosure of Zimbabwe’s deals with the Africa Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) last year, his adversaries labelled him a “renegade” bent on rocking the boat.
Thanks to the High Court, the Finance and Economic Development ministry was forced to publicly state what it borrowed from the regional lender, what was paid back, and what was outstanding.
The disclosure came at the end of 2020, but again, it barely satisfied the levels of transparency that deals of such magnitude require.
Zimbabweans were treated to a few paragraphs in newspapers, which only explained a small part of the transactions.
But the “renegade” MP may have been right.
There is something amiss in the Afreximbank/Zimbabwe loan arrangements, as demonstrated by last Friday’s shocking disclosures that the parties do not agree on the amount injected into Zimbabwe in the past 25 years.
That is not only shocking, but unacceptable. The discrepancy is just too big to ignore.
During a ceremony to hand over land on which Afreximbank will construct its US$100 million southern African regional headquarters in Harare, RBZ governor John Mangudya said the lender had extended US$9 billion in bailouts to Harare in the past 25 years.
But Afreximbank president Benedict Okey Oramah immediately said the financial institution, one of only a few still extending loans to Zimbabwe, had injected US$13 billion.
Most of the loans were extended during a period when the global financial system had turned its back on Zimbabwe, following massive defaults.
It is important to note that the difference between the two figures is US$4 billion — and it is Harare that is claiming it got much less from the lender.
Given the levels of corruption in this country, it would not be a wild guess to say the US$4 billion may have been pocketed by a few crafty bigwigs, at the expense of the whole nation.
This may have been a genuine error, but a US$4 billion disparity is unforgivable given its impact on the country’s fragile economy.
Authorities must immediately move in, carry out an audit and clear the air.
If, indeed, funds are missing, those who have feasted on the billions must be brought to book, they must face the music.
As Zimbabweans we must demand accountability, we must demand an end to high-level looting, and pillaging by a privileged few, at the expense of millions.
If we don’t raise eyebrows to shocking developments of this nature, we are setting the stage for massive plunder.
Source: Govt, Afreximbank must explain US$4bn discrepancy – NewsDay Zimbabwe WHEN a Member of Parliament demanded full disclosure of Zimbabwe’s deals with the Africa Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) last year, his adversaries labelled him a “renegade” bent on rocking the boat. Thanks to the High Court, the Finance and Economic Development ministry was forced to publicly […]