BY HARRIET CHIKANDIWA
HARARE North legislator Allan Norman Markham (MDC Alliance) has approached the High Court seeking an order to nullify a loan agreement entered between the Finance ministry and the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) with the African Export-Import Bank (Afrexim Bank).
Markham recently filed a court application citing Finance minister Mthuli Ncube and RBZ governor John Mangudya, in their official capacities, as the respondents in the matter.
He is seeking a declaratory, prohibitory and mandatory interdict against the two top government officials.
Markham said Ncube and Mangudya had failed to perform their mandated duties and the loan agreement they entered with Afrexim Bank was not binding since it had not been approved by Parliament.
“I am seeking that certain acts of commission or/omissions by the first respondent (Ncube) and second respondent (Mangudya) be declared to be contrary to the Constitution of Zimbabwe and that the loan agreement entered by or by both parties, with the third respondent (Afrexim Bank) are not binding on Zimbabwe as they have not been approved by Parliament as expressly prescribed by the Constitution,” Markham said in his founding affidavit.
He said he was also seeking transparency and accountability in the management of public finance as well as debt management.
“In particular, I highlight that there must be transparency and accountability in financial matters that public funds must be extended transparently, prudently and effectively…,” he said.
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Markham said he was also interested in ensuring that principles of transparency and accountability were adhered to by the Executive arms of government, Ncube and Mangudya in particular.
“I have sufficient personal and direct interest to ensure the above principles are adhered to by the Executive arms of the government, first respondent and second respondent in particular.”
He believes that the disclosure of loans and guarantees entered by the government must be revealed on time as stated in the Public Debt Management Act.
“I believe that provision of section 29 and 30 of Public Debt and Management Act are meant to ensure that there is full and timeous disclosure of all loans and guarantees entered into by the government,” the legislator
Markham said he was aware of credible Press reports that Ncube and Mangudya, while acting on behalf of the government, had concluded several loan agreements with the Afrexim Bank since 2018 in terms of which various sums of money was claimed against the government.
He asserts that the loans concluded by the government from January 2017 to date have not yet been brought to Parliament for approval.