Civil society organizations say Zimbabwe can easily settle its $10 billion external debt if it introduces strong public finance management measures. Our correspondent
Speaking at a Debt and Extractives Indaba organized by the Zimbabwe Coalition on Debt and Development or ZIMCOD in Mutare yesterday, representatives of non-governmental organizations urged the government to exploit the nation’s natural resources in a transparent way in order to settle the increasing external debt while catering for the needs of the people.
Hopewell Gumbo of ZIMCOD said the country requires full economic recovery in order to achieve sustainable social justice.
Gumbo said it is saddening that Zimbabweans strongly believe that the government is abusing revenues collected from the mining of natural resources, especially diamonds in Manicaland province.
Freeman Bhoso, coordinator of the Zimbabwe Natural Resources Dialogue Forum, also said communities need to be informed on their rights so that they benefit from the country’s natural resources.
Bhoso said the government has not improved the lives of people living in areas where there are abundant natural resources.
Marlvern Mudiwa, a resident of Chiadzwa in Marange, added that communities in diamond-rich areas are facing challenges as diamond companies are failing to fulfill their promises of employing locals, among several others.
The one-day indaba was organized by ZIMCOD in partnership with the Centre for Research and Development, designed to encourage community participation in various sectors of the economy, especially mining,
Diamond mining company representatives and the Minister of State for Manicaland province, Chris Mushowe, failed to attend the meeting despite having been invited.