ZIMCODD’s latest weekly review covers a number of important issues which include vaccine misinformation and pandemic management, the link between debt and corruption and expectations on the midterm budget review which will be presented on 29 July 2021. Read on for these topics and more.
COVID-19 Vaccine Misinformation weakens Pandemic Management
Vaccine misinformation has constantly threatened Zimbabwe’s pandemic management. The resultant loss in public trust has been especially pronounced in the levels of vaccine hesitancy particularly amongst the youth. In this regard, false narrative dismissing vaccines as a hoax to swindle African resources and a means to terminate the black people through biological welfare1 have proliferated on social media. These narratives cost lives as indicated in the report on “COVID-19 Admissions and Community Deaths by Vaccination Status” by Dr A Mahomva which was released on the 23rd of July.
Expectations of the Mid-Term Budget Review
The Minister of Finance and Economic Development will present a Review of the 2021 National Budget on the 29th of July 2021. The Mid Term-Budget Review offers the government an opportunity to make incremental policy shifts to gaps in fiscal measures adopted in the 2021 national budget and also to sharpen fiscal instruments to better address emerging challenges. The 2021 Mid-Term Budget Review is an important moment for the Minister to reverse the current neo- liberal policy course in order to give Zimbabwean families a fighting chance to withstand the multiple headwinds of the COVID-19 pandemic, economic decline, austerity measures, household debt bondage, cutbacks in public services, growing crime and insecurity and climate impacts.
The Link between Debt and Corruption
A big portion of Zimbabwe’s debt is a result of grand corruption and bad governance. The Government of Zimbabwe has contributed significantly to the country’s growing indebtedness through bailing out and taking over the debts of a number of parastatals through the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) Debt Assumption Act (2015). Elite’s debts have been offloaded onto the shoulders of tax payers through Debt Assumption and the Zimbabwe Asset Management Company (ZAMCO). ZAMCO was established by the RBZ and its mandate is to buy non-performing loans from the banking sector. Through, state capture, political elites have taken advantage of ZAMCO to borrow and transfer the burden to citizens.
Access the full weekly review here (501KB PDF)