Bond fight taken to Parly

THE MDC-T parliamentary caucus is demanding that Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa table before the House the $200 million Afreximbank loan agreement, as per constitutional requirements.

Source: Bond fight taken to Parly – NewsDay Zimbabwe November 10, 2016


The opposition move comes as the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe and Treasury are yet to divulge contents of the loan agreement backing the contentious bond notes, which are expected to start circulating anytime soon.

MDC-T spokesperson, Obert Gutu confirmed the party caucus would bring the matter up in the lower House, with Chinamasa, as their lawful duty of holding the executive to account.

“We want the minister to produce the signed loan document or agreement and its terms and conditions. We suspect that they did not get a loan because the State is currently not creditworthy,” he said.

The new Constitution adopted in 2013 makes it compulsory for the Finance minister to gazette all loan agreements and to table them in Parliament.

Section 300(3) reads: “Within 60 days after the government has concluded a loan agreement or guarantee, the minister responsible for Finance must cause its terms to be published in the Gazette.”

The Constitution further says the minister responsible for Finance must, at least twice a year, report to Parliament on the performance of loans raised and loans guaranteed by the State.

Gutu said the opposition was worried that Treasury was breaching the Constitution by withholding such information from the public.

“If we don’t ask, we would have abrogated our responsibility. In fact, we demand that all debts should be tabled in the House. We have some agreements that we only read in the media like the Brazilian loan for farming equipment. This should be made public too,” he said.

In recent memory, the government has only publicised three loans involving Chinese contractors for the construction of the National Defence College, Victoria Falls Airport and the Kariba South hydroelectric project.