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Legal provisions in relation to financial management, public debt and the socio-economic implications - IGDzw

Legal provisions in relation to financial management, public debt and the socio-economic implications

Legal provisions in relation to financial management, public debt and the socio-economic implications

The Constitution of Zimbabwe, which is the supreme law of the country provide clear cut guidelines concerning principles of public financial management. The two fundamental principles as provided by section 298(1) are transparency and accountability. However our government by omission and commission has been found wanting as far as these two core principles for a civilized country to develop are concerned. Talk of the over-hyped Command Agriculture Scheme, the question is not WHY it was introduced but HOW it is being administred.Keeping it a secret means all the things surrounding it remain unexamined and this gives any reasonable person a cemented suspicion that its contents are ugly. It is important to highlight that development without democracy is short lived joy.

Section 299 of the same constitution provides that parliament must monitor and oversee expenditure by the state, but sadly our parliament is acting just as a public relations entity of some higher power. This has led to breeding of systematic corruption and leaving tax payers bleeding. Debt generally is a serious problem in Africa but again our supreme law provides in in section 300 that an act of parliament must limit state borrowing and public. Though the umbilical cord of debt in Zimbabwe can be traced to inherited colonial debt, forty-year old Zimbabwe has ballooned the debt with little or no development in sight. It is of paramount importance for the government to also renegotiate illegitimate debts and do debt audits in a transparent manner. Parliament and its committees must exercise its role in overseeing state revenues and expenditures in line with the provisions of section 305(1) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe.

It is also important for any responsible citizen to familiarize with the Constitution of Zimbabwe, Public Finance Management Act, the Public Debt Management Act and RBZ Act and it is the duty of the government to ensure these legal instruments are accessible in different languages and in print and electronic media and together as the people of Zimbabwe we can influence alternatives and come up with alternative debt management. The Public Management Act [Chapter 22:19] main objective is to ensure transparency, accountability and sound management of public resources. The fiscal rules in the act help reduce the fiscal shortage. The later act limits what the Central Bank can lend to the later. However without government’s will to comply with the provisions of the above mentioned Acts makes them appear as toothless legal instruments.

Institutions like the Financial Intelligence Unit, ZACC and public auditors must do their work diligently and track footprints of the so called all weather friends and investigate how much are they now worthy and ensure we are not mortgaging our resources to these “friends”. The so called “Beijing Debt” must be investigated and put in the public domain.

Government must get into private public partnerships with real investors who are not just after their own selfish interests and ensure the marginalized group of society is protected. As we only have one Earth focus must also be put on ensuring that irreversible environmental degradation will not take place.

The Constitution also states that courts must take into account international law and international treaties which Zimbabwe is a signatory. The African Charter on the rights of Women in Africa [The Maputo Protocol] includes progressive provisions on economic empowerment as with any noble sustainable project it must not widen the gender gap.

The government must ensure in all its dealings it is putting the interests of the people of Zimbabwe at the forefront especially those of marginalized groups and stand guided by the Supreme law of the land. In turn the citizens must hold the government accountable by always asking what the law says and also suggesting sustainable solutions and demanding a fair share from the investment cake.

If you do not shape the national discourse, someone will shape it for you. Together Everyone Achieves More. While we’re still trying to understand the full scope of Covid-19.we have learnt one thing, that we can when necessary and willing address a challenge with bold responses. I urge everyone to take this lesson on board in our fight against systematic corruption and demand transparency and accountability.

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