Finance Minister, AfreximBank Dragged to Court Over Unclear RBZ Obligations

Finance Minister Further Reveals Further Detail on Money Transfer Tax Charges
Image Credit: The Zimbabwe Mail

Community Water Alliance (CWA) filed papers at the High Court against the Minister of Finance and Economic Development Mthuli Ncube, Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) and the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) seeking an order for the publishment of terms pertaining loans and guarantees concluded by the Government from January 2017 to date.

CWA Programs Manager Hardlife Mudzingwa told journalists in Harare today that his organisation is outraged by reported securing of loans purportedly involving Afreximbank and the repayments done in violation of Section 327(3). The Section states that “an agreement which is not an international treaty but which has been concluded or executed by the President or under the President’s authority with one or more foreign organisations or entities and imposed fiscal obligations on Zimbabwe, does not bind Zimbabwe until it has been approved by Parliament”.

“(We seek) an order that all loan agreements or facilities concluded between the Government of Zimbabwe through the agency of Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe and African Export-Import Bank, in terms of which fiscal obligation were imposed on the government of Zimbabwe until they have been approved by Parliament,” Mudzinga said.

The organisation also seeks an interdict from making any further payment from the fiscus of Zimbabwe by Minister of Finance and Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe to the African Export-Import Bank for any purported obligations arising out of the mentioned loans before their approval by Parliament.

Combined Harare Residents Association (CHRA) Programs Manager Reuben Akim, in solidarity with CWA said the non-disclosure of such loans is not only unconstitutional and violation to human rights but creates speculation and loss of confidence in the Government among citizens on how funds are being spent.

“Currently there are no clear answers on the status of disbursement of the remaining USD 72 million China Water Loan which the Government of Zimbabwe is a guarantor,” Akim said.

“The deliberate elimination of the constitutional mandate of parliament in public finance manangement is an attack representative democracy and accountability mechanisms set out in the laws of the land.”

“We note with concern that despite the fact that million of United States Dollars on water loans and grants have been acquired nothing has improved in terms of water provisioning, actually the situation is getting worse, this has raised more questions than answers among residents of Hararein terms of public finance management in both our local authority and central government,” Akim went on.

Harare Metropolitan Residents Forum spokesperson Loreen Mupasiri Sani, who agreed with CWA added that there is need for both the government and Harare City Council to be accountable when handling public finances.

Other residents associations sharing the same sentiments are the Chitungwiza and Manyame Rural Residents Association, Epworth Residents Development Association, Norton Residents Alliance and Chitungwiza Progressive Residents Association.

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