from MARCUS MUSHONGA in Harare, Zimbabwe
HARARE, (CAJ News) – ZIMBABWE has committed to implementing key reforms to resolve its US$8,3 billion debt burden as well as end 21 years of sanctions.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa reassured development partners and creditors of his government’s commitment.
He was speaking during the high-level debt resolution forum held in the capital Harare, attended by President of the African Development Bank (AfDB) Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, and former president of Mozambique, Joachim Chissano.
“In spite of the challenges associated with the debt overhang and further exacerbated by the albatross of the illegal economic sanctions, Zimbabwe is realizing key milestones towards moving our country forward for the good of our people,” Mnangagwa said.
He said the three key reform pillars for Zimbabwe’s implementation programme include governance reforms, land tenure reforms, compensation of former farm owners and the resolution of bilateral investment protection agreements.
On electoral reforms, Mnangagwa assured stakeholders that the county has put in place the requisite mechanisms to guarantee peaceful, free, fair and credible elections scheduled for August this year.
“My government stands committed to consolidating constitutionalism, rule of law, good governance and protecting constitutionally enshrined rights and freedoms,” Mnangagwa said.
A majority of Zimbabwe’s combined bilateral and multilateral debt is accounted for by arrears.
Adesina, who is the official champion for Zimbabwe’s arrears clearance and debt resolution, expressed deep concern about the country’s debt.
“Zimbabwe cannot run up the hill of economic recovery carrying a backpack of debt on its back,” he said.
“It is time for a comprehensive debt arrears clearance and debt resolution for Zimbabwe. But getting there is not a walk in the park. We must address history, to make history,” Adesina said.
Some Western nations slapped sanctions on Zimbabwe, arguing human rights violations.
However, it is seen as a punishment on the Southern African country for repossessing land from the minority white farmers.
– CAJ News