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Citizens should benefit from SDR facility: Khupe

MDC legislator Dr Thokozani Khupe has said that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) allocation should benefit every citizen in the country.

Zimbabwe received US$961 million from the IMF which the government said will be used to boost various sectors of the economy which were affected by Covid-19.

Finance and Economic Development Minister Professor Mthuli Ncube announced that the funds will be used to assist the health, mining, education sectors among others that were hit hard by the pandemic.

Dr Khupe made these remarks during a Public Finance Reform Indaba held by Zimbabwe Coalition on Debt and Development (ZIMCODD), Friday.

The Indaba was being held under the theme Transparency and Accountability in the Utilisation of US$961 million in Special Drawing Right (SDRs).

Dr Khupe said there is a need for transparency and accountability pertaining to these funds as they are designed to benefit every citizen and not the executive.

“In view of this, every rural peasant, resettled farmer, urban vendor, civil servants, business people, pensioners, PLWDs, women, children and youths must have a feel of these funds,” Dr Khuphe said.

Dr Khuphe said to enforce transparency and accountability, Parliament has a pivotal role to present views and suggestions by the citizenry.

She said the Parliament is also mandated to hold the finance minister to account on the expenditure of the SDRs on behalf of the citizens.

Transparency International Zimbabwe (TIZ) Advocacy Officer Njabulo Moyo said it was important for citizens to understand how SDRs work so that they may hold those in authority accountable.

“SDRs need to be traded for them to gain financial value. It is the responsibility of authorities to utilise this money on economic development projects. As citizens we need to have information pertaining to the expenditure of these funds in various sectors so that we may be able to interrogate its usage,” Moyo said.

Angellah Mamdoreba, Campaigns Officer at ZIMCODD says it is important to monitor that the disbursed funds are utilised in a transparent manner and that they effectively benefit the targeted sectors especially considering that the economy was crippled by the effects of Covid-19.

“Stakeholders are supposed to take a stand and ensure that the money is rightfully used. Zimbabwe is marred with corruption when it comes to financial resources hence the need to ensure they monitor closely how these funds are utilised. If we look back at the Covid resources we find there are still some funds that have not yet been accounted for. There is need for vigilance to avoid a repetition of such,” she said.

Participants who attended the Indaba suggested that there be representatives from various wards who will work closely with stakeholders and CSOs in monitoring the disbursement and expenditure of the SDRs.

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