‘Zimbabwe can finance its own development’

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ZIMBABWE has enough resources to finance its own development if the right mindsets, as well as institutional and legal frameworks, are put in place, a joint report by organisations that promote socio-economic justice and economic governance has revealed.

The report compiled by the Zimbabwe Coalition on Debt and Development (Zimcodd) in collaboration with the Economic Governance Initiative Consortium in Zimbabwe reveals that the country is too resource-endowed to be poor.

“. . . a cursory analysis of the natural capital in Zimbabwe, including its mineral resource stocks, wildlife, forestry, fisheries, and arable land, among others, suggests that the country’s resources are enough to finance its own development if the right mindsets, conditions, institutional, and legal frameworks are put in place,” the report, titled Domestic Resource Mobilisation and the Quest for Sustainable Alternative to External Debt in Zimbabwe, authored by policy analyst and former government minister Gorden Moyo, reads.

The proven minerals and precious stones in Zimbabwe, according to the report, include 13 million tonnes of gold; 2,8 billion tonnes of platinum; 26 billion tonnes of coal; 10 billion tonnes of chrome; 4,5 million tonnes of nickel; 16,5 million carats of diamonds; 30 billion tonnes of iron ore; 5,2 million tonnes of copper; and 765 billion cubic metres of coal-bed methane.

“Given this magnitude of natural capital, a well-repurposed approach to domestic revenue mobilisation could harness all these and many other resources to scale up development finance in Zimbabwe without overly relying on erratic external flows,” it reads.

“Government should go beyond the rhetoric of zero tolerance to corruption and adopt drastic measures to curtail illicit financial flows.”

The report says every effort must be made to strengthen all institutions that are involved in the management of illicit financial flows including customs, tax departments, Zimbabwe Revenue Authority, Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission, and all the relevant parliamentary portfolio committees.

“Stemming capital flight and encouraging the repatriation of capital held abroad will have a very significant impact on the level of resources available for productive investment in Zimbabwe thereby directly contributing towards debt sustainability,” it said.

Among other recommendations, the report says the government should revamp its public finance management systems and align them with the constitution.

This should aim at promoting a real culture of transparency in the public sector in order to ensure that the budgetary resources result in economic growth and development.

Government should also urgently adopt innovative financing mechanisms such as public-private partnerships, securitisation of diaspora remittances, and sovereign wealth funds, and digitallyenhanced tax administration practices as well as online gaming industries.

“The successful implementation of these innovative financing mechanisms would provide strong impetus to efforts geared at accelerating accumulation of capital, productivity, and economic growth in the country thereby contributing towards debt sustainability,” it said.

The government should fully embrace the principles of the Fourth Industrial Revolution in tax administration, and in monitoring and tracing financial crimes.

“Political leaders must have the will to change the current situation in Zimbabwe. The benefits of domestic resource mobilisation will only accrue to the country if the political leadership is prepared to shift its mindset away from aid and debt dependence syndromes.”

“It also depends on whether the government has the political will and capacity to put in place the appropriate policy measures,” the report says.

Source – the independent