The World Bank seems to have been charmed by the eformrs instituted by Treasury and it is motivating that Zimbabwe receives some international assistance.
Source: World Bank should not perpetuate repression – NewsDay Zimbabwe September 1, 2016
While at face value this might seem like a good thing and a coup for Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa, the real losers are the people of Zimbabwe, as President Robert Mugabe’s government is seemingly receiving an endorsement from the outside world.
The West has recently been accused of employing an appeasement strategy with the Zimbabwean government, which is quite apparent with the way the World Bank seems to gloss over problems in Zimbabwe and appears to endorse sending money to the country.
While we are not opposed to aid, Mugabe and his government have run up a debt that is almost 50% of gross domestic product and their capacity to borrow from the public knows no bounds.
Also the World Bank report could not have come at a worse time, when Mugabe has stepped up repression of dissenters and his government is threatening a violent clampdown on protesters.
This is a massive propaganda victory for the Mugabe regime, as the message would be that in spite of it all — lack of democracy and a clampdown on freedoms of speech and association — the World Bank is still prepared to do business with Mugabe.
This reinforces a criticism of multi-lateral organisations that they only invoke democracy when it suits them and are willing to get into bed with the worst of dictators if they have something to gain.
We are not saying Zimbabwe should not get aid from the World Bank, but what’s there to stop Mugabe from using that money to buy more teargas and truncheons just to put down pro-democracy campaigns.
The world has already witnessed some of the police brutality of the past weeks and it is unthinkable what they are capable of doing and what they would do if they were better resourced.
The reforms Zimbabwe has carried out so far are laudable, but they should not be used as a reason to encourage others to lend money to Zimbabwe, but instead the World Bank should insist these changes are accompanied by democratic regeneration.
This is a stark reminder of how out of touch these organisations are, as just a few weeks ago, the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (Unicef) issued a regrettable statement about using children as “human shields”.
The statement was so bereft of context that it was meaningless, but the organisation has been eerily quiet on other cases of “child abuse” perpetrated by the ruling party and government.
Zimbabwe needs all the help it can get, but these organisations must be wary of seeming to prop Mugabe’s regime, as every Zimbabwean can attest, this government is a serial human rights abuser.