ZANU-PF has set out a plan to resolve Zimbabwe’s $10,7 billion external debt, which will involve cancelling a significant portion of the country’s obligations and paying off the remainder using resources mobilised from the Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment programme. The Zanu-PF 2013 election manifesto, which is dubbed “Indigenise, Develop and Create Employment” recognises that the country’s debt overhang is a threat to its five- year economic aspirations.
Some of the goals which the party’s blue- print seeks to achieve include consolidation of empowerment programmes, creation of 2,3 million jobs by 2018, boosting agricultural sector through injection of $2 billion and a $3 billion massive infrastructure rehabilitation programme.
Should Zanu-PF win the elections to be held on 31 July, the party also targets to achieve an annual gross domestic product of about nine percent by 2018 from the current 4,4 percent.
The revolutionary party says some of the debts were inherited from the Rhodesian government which borrowed the money to finance the “atrocities” committed during the liberation struggle.
“A major threat to winning all the goals of the people over the next five years is the crippling debt burden now estimated at some $10 billion whose unjust origins date to a $700 million debt incurred by Ian Smith’s illegal Rhodesian regime ironically from some Western countries – that have imposed illegal sanctions against Zimbabwe – to enable Smith and his racist cabal to fund their brutality and atrocities during the liberation struggle,” says the Zanu-PF manifesto.
“The time has come to revisit this issue once again with a view to cancelling a significant portion of the debt to redress the unjust origins of the debt. Any settlement of the remaining debt should be based on mobilising domestic resources from the Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment programme.”
The debt overhang has over the years constrained both Government and industry to attract foreign direct investment and borrow money from multilateral institutions because of the country’s high risk profile.