Opposition MDC Alliance has expressed fear that the US$961 Million International Monetary Fund (IMF) allocated Special Drawing Rights (SDR) might be diverted for the 2023 general elections by the Zanu PF led Government.
In a statement, the party’s national spokesperson Advocate Fadzayi Mahere said history has many examples of funds being channeled towards elections.
“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. 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. There is no reason to believe this time it will be any different. 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,” said Mahere
She said the funds must benefit impoverished citizens and called for monitoring of the funds by the Auditor General’s office.
“They (funds) must be used for the benefit of the people and not be looted by political elites. Safety nets must be availed to the poor. 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. By holding government to account, we will ensure the SDR’s reach the intended vulnerable members of our society and be used in the fight against Covid-19,” she said.
The IMF injected a record $650 billion of reserve assets to build confidence and foster resilience and stability in the global economy in the wake of the devastation caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Zimbabwe received an allocation equivalent to US$961m.