Govt urged to tap into Diaspora investment

SPEAKER of the National Assembly, Jacob Mudenda has urged the government to target Zimbabweans living in the Diaspora in its investment drive in order to free the country from heavy reliance on aid.

BY VENERANDA LANGA

Mudenda said this while addressing MPs at a 2018 pre-budget seminar in Harare recently.

He said there was crippling aid fatigue as vulnerable countries had been depending on such sources for funding, adding Zimbabwe needed a paradigm shift to look at other sources of funding for the 2018 National Budget.

“We need to encourage investment by our own Diaspora and so we need a clear Diaspora policy and robust legal framework, which guarantees propriety rights for Diasporans,” he said.

“Domestic financing guarantees stable and predictable revenue and is an antidote to aid dependency and a guarantee for increased ownership.”

The Speaker said by religiously focusing on domestic resource mobilisation, the country could curtail the ballooning expenditure to ensure transparency and accountability in finances in line with the Public Finance Management Act. He said the country needed to unlock value from its mineral resources and bring sanity in the diamond mining sector.

Mudenda called for the plugging of loopholes at the country’s border posts and formalisation of the informal sector to assist in growing revenue to fund the National Budget.

“If we do this, our budget will significantly jump beyond $4 billion, where it has remained static for many years. Preponderance of expenditure over revenue is a scenario, which should not be tolerated by Parliament,” he said.

The Speaker said heads must roll at ministries and State enterprises and parastatals, where cases of financial impropriety and malfeasance were rampant.

“After promulgation of the Public Entities and Corporate Governance Bill, I am sure we will start to see changes. MPs must be watchdogs and together with the Auditor-General and the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission, among others, must be provided with adequate resources,” he said.

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