Act Now: Debt Justice for Zimbabwe
12 Jun 2012
Debt Justice for Zimbabwe
With fresh elections due next year, debt campaigners in Zimbabwe want lessons learned about the country's US$ 7 billion debt.
Act now and support a democratic debt audit for Zimbabwe.
Debt and Development Coalition Ireland recently supported a debt audit for Ireland and cancellation of the illegitimate Anglo debts. Now we are asking for justice for Zimbabweans too. This is because debt injustice is a global problem. If we are to stop unfair lending practices, lenders must be held to account everywhere.
Zimbabwe stopped paying most of its debts in the year 2000. Since then, Zimbabweans have faced economic chaos and social upheaval.
With fresh elections due next year, debt campaigners in Zimbabwe want a line drawn under their unjust debts.
BUT, spurred on by the 'threat' of lending by China, Zimbabwe's lenders are discussing the future of the country's crippling US$ 7 billion debt now. Some international financiers want the debt problem swept under the carpet. They think it's enough to 'forgive and forget'. We know this is not good enough.
Zimbabwean activists fear the mistakes of the past could happen all over again. They want the role of lending and debt in Zimbabwe's economic crisis to be examined. Details already uncovered include:
- "Bailout" loans with conditions that increased unemployment and poverty in the 1990s
- Dodgy World Bank projects which were ill-conceived and brought no benefits
- UK loans for Mugabe's police force to buy British-made Land Rovers
But Zimbabweans simply don't know the origins of all $7 billion of debt, nor who benefited from the loans in the first place. That's why they're demanding a full audit of the debt.
Sound familiar? Indebted people must stand together in solidarity everywhere. Ask Minister for Trade and Development Joe Costello to support our call. Email him this message in support of the Zimbabweans struggle.
Support international and local debt justice at http://www.debtireland.org and http://www.notourdebt.ie