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‘US$1 billion from IMF not vote of confidence’, Coltart educates Mthuli Ncube

By Nyashadzashe Ndoro | Nehanda Politics |

The allocation of US$1 billion to Zimbabwe by the International Monetary Fund through the Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) facility does not mean a vote of confidence in President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s administration, says MDC Alliance treasurer general David Coltart.

MDC treasurer-general David Coltart
MDC treasurer-general David Coltart

As an IMF member, Zimbabwe on Tuesday received a share of the new special issue SDRs which the Finance minister Mthuli Ncube said would be earmarked for health, manufacturing, agriculture, education and mining.

Ncube said, in disbursing the funds, the IMF gave the Zanu PF regime a vote of confidence.

“This move is a truly encouraging vote of confidence from the international community in the new Zimbabwe, its reforms, and its positive direction,” Ncube said.

But Coltart said the funds were a part of a worldwide Covid-19 relief package targeting developing countries even those with bad leaders and not a “vote of confidence”.

“Whilst I like every Zimbabwean will rejoice in principle that this money is being given to #Zimbabwe I make two comments.

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“This is not a ‘vote of confidence’ – every developing country in the world is being given a portion of this fund, including terrible juntas like Myanmar.

“It is being paid out rather like a vaccine to everyone not because they are good but because the IMF believes that this injection is necessary to stabilise the world’s economy.

“Zanu PF is by its very nature profligate. There are some lofty objectives spelt out in Ncube’s statement and I hope for the sake of Zimbabweans that many of the more laudable goals are actually realised,” he said.

The former Education minister said his “heart sank” when he realised large amounts of the money would be invested in agriculture and mining, the sectors that are deeply rooted in corruption.

“What deeply concerns me is that whilst Ncube speaks of investing in education and health, his primary focus appears to be the agriculture and mining sectors.

“Knowing as we all do how much endemic corruption there is in both these sectors my heart sinks when I read that a large portion of these funds are going to be directed there.

“My concern is that a substantial portion of these funds will find their way into the pockets of the ruling elite, as has happened with national State budgetary money,” Coltart said.

He added: “The IMF would have been far wiser to insist that this money be directed towards health, education, housing etc  – focused on the poor and marginalised of our society. It should also insist on full accountability for every last cent of the funds.

“The record of the Zanu PF government is that they brazenly steal and waste Zimbabwean taxpayers money; how much more so will they do to international money like this paid with seemingly few strings attached.” Nehanda Radio