The main opposition party in South Africa has urged the government not to extend a $10 million loan to Zimbabwe, fearing the money may be diverted by ZANU PF for use in a terror campaign against any opposition ahead of elections.
The Democratic Alliance’s Shadow Minister of International Relations, Ian Davidson, wrote the warning to the Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan, following reports that their Zim counterpart, Tendai Biti, was due to meet officials from South Africa in the next two weeks to secure the loan.
“What I said is that it shouldn’t be given as a blank cheque to be used for anything. It should be ring-fenced, subject to certain conditions, because this is one of the few opportunities where we can specify the leverage,” Davidson explained.
The DA Shadow Minister told SW Radio Africa that any funding granted to Zimbabwe should be strictly subject to all the political parties.
“More specifically it should be subject to the parties adhering to the constitution, which I understand is in the final stages and Mugabe has some problems with it in the final moments,” Davidson added.
Davidson said he shares the concerns of many Zimbabweans who fear that if the money were to be given as a blank cheque, it would find its way into ZANU PF’s election campaign and be used to fund violence and intimidation against perceived enemies.
The DA Shadow Minister said he had also submitted questions that he hoped the Finance Minister would answer in parliament regarding the pending meeting with Biti. He explained Zimbabwe is important to South Africa’s economy and the huge number of immigrants crossing the border warrants discussion of this loan.
Zimbabwe is clearly broke. Biti himself recently said there was no money to conduct by-elections in the 38 constituencies that are vacant.
Funds from the lucrative sale of diamonds continue to be diverted from the national coffers, finding their way into the pockets of a few individuals within ZANU PF and the military.
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Zimbabwe: SA Government Urged to Refuse $100 Million Loan to Zim