Zim Parly decision to take over $1.3 bn debt condemned

At least US$200 million of this debt was used to buy farming equipment for officials.

Picture: WikiCommons.

HARARE - Zimbabwe's main opposition party has condemned a decision by Parliament to approve a bill that will see the government taking over a US$1.3 billion debt from the central bank.

The opposition and some civil society groups want those who benefited from the bank's programmes to be named.

At least $200 million of this debt was used to buy farming equipment for well-connected officials.

Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) spokesman Obert Gutu said it's deplorable that most Zimbabweans are being saddled with a debt that didn't benefit them.

The MDC tried and failed to get a list of the beneficiaries before the bill was passed by Parliament last week.

Reports say the Zimbabwe Coalition on Debt and Development and a smaller MDC faction may try to use the Access to Information Act to try to force the authorities into full disclosure.

State media said the huge debt was hindering the central bank's ability to act as lender of last resort and said the move was an attempt to rebuild confidence in Zimbabwe's financial sector.