via Parliament says tell us who is owed money by the RBZ 26 January 2014 by Charles Rukuni InsiderZim
Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Finance and Economic Planning says the government should name the creditors who are owed US$1.35 billion by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe.
The government has taken over the debt to restore credibility of the central bank.
The committee said although it appreciated the move it implored the government to be transparent on issues like this because they imposed a huge burden on the taxpayers.
“The Committee is therefore recommending to the Minister of Finance and Economic Development that information regarding the specific creditors making up this $1.35 billion be made public to ensure that there is more transparency and accountability with respect to this debt assumption exercise,” it said in its report prepared as a response o the 2014 Budget.
Former central bank governor, Gideon Gono, who was blamed for the debt said in his farewell address that he wanted to correct this erroneous impression because he was responsible for only 45 percent of the debt.
“I leave my office a happy man given that only on Tuesday, cabinet agreed, finally to the government take-over of all bank debts incurred by the central bank on behalf of the State. Some of these debts were incurred as way back as during our pre-independence era right through the 1980s, 1990s and the 2000s. An erroneous impression had been created in the market to the effect that the entire US$1.3 billion was created during my era of administration. Of course nothing could be further from the truth.
“For the record, only 45% of that debt was created by survival circumstances of my era while 55% was rolled over years such as the IMF, World Bank, ADB loans of the early 80s/90s, Malaysia and South African Central Bank debts among others.
“The point here is not to point fingers at any one era of administration but to record appreciation to government for finally summoning the courage to clean-up the RBZ balance sheet and in the process, recapitalize it,” Gono said on 29 November, his last day in office.