SW Radio Africa (London)

7 February 2014

Zimbabwe: Govt Needs U.S $27 Billion for Zimasset

The ZANU PF government has admitted that it does not have the $27 billion it needs to implement its much-touted economic recovery plan.

The Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation (ZimAsset) was central to ZANU PF's election campaign, but 7 months since the party's disputed victory, there is no sign that the blueprint will translate into any programmes.

Ministry of Finance official Jonah Mushayi revealed that the government will be approaching donors to help raise the $27 billion, the NewsDay quoted him as having said Thursday.

"There are certain things we need to attend to as government and business. $27 billion is required for the blueprint. It's quite a huge figure over five years," Mushayi told a business conference.

Mushayi added that government will be approaching local and international donors to fund the implantation of the economic plan, adding that the national budget of $4.1 billion is insufficient, as the bulk of it goes towards civil service wages.

Economist Vince Musewe told SW Radio Africa that the problem in Zimbabwe is not the shortage of money but the system institutional failure due to corruption.

"There is evidence that between 2008 and 2012, a total of $12 billion was looted from the Marange diamond field, and $3 billion is missing from pension fund NSSA.

"This is not a country without money, but one where there is rampant institutional incapacity. ZimAsset is just a joke and this government has no political will to implement good programmes," Musewe said.

Musewe said it will be foolhardy for western donors to give the Zim government funds, considering the illicit dealings and corruption prevalent in the country.

"With the money that has been looted so far from State coffers, the government doesn't need to be begging," Musewe added.

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