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Economic Experts Urge Zimbabwean Government to Halt Rising Debt Levels

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Minister of Finance Professor Ncube recently indicated that most of the national debt was accrued during the tenure of former President Robert Mugabe.
Minister of Finance, Professor Mthuli Ncube.

Economic experts are calling on the Zimbabwean government to halt the increasing national debt, warning that continued borrowing will hamper the country’s development and lead to further denial of loans from financial institutions.

This appeal comes in the wake of a recent announcement by the Deputy Minister of Finance, David Mnangagwa, who informed Parliament last week that the country's debt has now exceeded 18 billion US dollars.

Independent economist Ms Happiness Zengeni highlighted that Zimbabwe’s debt continues to escalate due to its inability to secure funds to repay existing loans, resulting in accumulating interest.

“Some of the loans date back to the 80s and 90s. For various reasons, we haven’t been able to pay this money, so the debt keeps growing,” explained Ms Zengeni.

Mr. Trust Chikohora, an economist and leader of the opposition party Coalition for Democrats (CODE), described the rising debt as alarming and stressed the urgency for the government to address this issue promptly.

“Let’s stop adding more debt. We need to evaluate the current situation and find solutions to resolve these loans. We must live within our means and avoid accumulating further debt,” Mr. Chikohora urged.

Professor Elliot Masocha, an economics expert teaching at DeVry University in Ohio, USA, also warned that failure to manage debt, as seen in Zimbabwe, will negatively impact the nation’s economic growth.

“The country’s economy cannot improve because it is burdened by these loans. Moreover, Zimbabwe will struggle to borrow money necessary for running its programmes,” Professor Masocha stated.

Dr. Prosper Chitambara, an economist with the Labour and Economic Development Research Institute of Zimbabwe, noted that the country’s debt continues to rise because it funds development projects with borrowed money.

Minister of Finance Professor Mthuli Ncube recently indicated that most of the national debt was accrued during the tenure of former President Robert Mugabe. The debt includes obligations to foreign organisations and domestic companies.

There are ongoing discussions led by former Mozambican President Mr Joaquim Chissano and attended by African Development Bank President Mr Akinwumi Adesina, focusing on Zimbabwe's debt situation.

However, the United States has reportedly withdrawn from these negotiations, citing concerns over alleged electoral misconduct in last year’s elections. The Zimbabwean government, on the other hand, maintains that these talks are ongoing and criticised the US for interfering in the country’s internal affairs.

The call for debt management reform highlights a critical need for Zimbabwe to stabilise its economy and restore confidence among international lenders.

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ZimNewsDaily: Economic Experts Urge Zimbabwean Government to Halt Rising Debt Levels
Economic Experts Urge Zimbabwean Government to Halt Rising Debt Levels
Minister of Finance Professor Ncube recently indicated that most of the national debt was accrued during the tenure of former President Robert Mugabe.
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