The World Bank has pledged US$44 million to assist in the private sector, public finance management, resilience and livelihoods and policy advice between (2014-2019). Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa said a total US$15 million would be available for disbursement in 2015.
“Our relationship with the bank is going from strength to strength and am pleased with the level of engagement and constructive dialogue we are enjoying with the bank. I look forward to escalate the relationship. I want to thank the World Bank for assistance in agriculture, infrastructure, health and social safety nets,” Chinamasa said.
Chinamasa also commended the bank for unveiling the US$75 million disbursed to Zambezi River Authority towards the Kariba dam rehabilitation.
He said the money would be channeled towards commencing due diligence audits in strategic parastatals and municipalities.
“I am also pleased that you are reconstructing the multi donor fund under Zimref. It is going to help to tackle policies on parastatal reform. For the first step is to a comprehensive due diligence audit which will tell us about management systems and capacities,” Chinamasa said.
“A total US$15 million under Zimbabwe Reconstruction Fund (ZIMREF) is going towards the carrying out of those audits. We will start with the strategic ones and go to less strategic .This exercise will deal with the municipalities .These are an albatross within the neck of the fiscus.”
He pointed out that from a technical point of view there was need to reduce the wage bill by stamping out duplication of roles within the public service sector.
“We need to know who is who in the pay roll. Are they dupilications? Are skilled people in the right places or drawing salaries without doing any work. I also need that money and ZIMREF money will be a good pot for me to deep in. It may not need to be done as audit but a justification of persons why are they in positions they are. We think they are some people who are in places when whose functions are not relevant with their activity,” Chinamasa said.
He said he needed to deal with the wage bill in a parallel fashion acknowledging that the previous civil service audit was poisoned by political systems.
Chinamasa said from May next year onwards Zimbabwe will continue to engage with the World Bank so as to find options of dealing with the arrears and to attract funding multinational institutions.
Zimbabwe’s debt stands at US$9,9 billion and according to the 2015 budget statement of the total multilateral debt Zimbabwe owe the world bank 49%.