In a shocking twist of fate, ZANU PF, the ruling party of Zimbabwe, once jubilant at the prospect of securing new loans from international institutions, now hesitates to embrace non-conditional loans from a new benefactor. This flip-flop is a bitter pill for Zimbabweans to swallow, given the party’s track record of mismanagement and corruption. The irony lies in their eagerness to saddle the nation with additional debt when previous loans from international financial institutions have failed to yield any tangible benefits, despite being in the billions of dollars.

Before fully honoring its existing loan commitments, ZANU PF is already knocking on the door for more. It is disheartening that even with the looming constitutional crisis and the resultant state paralysis, the party fails to acknowledge its role in this downward spiral. The incessant calls from the democratic world to implement reforms should serve as a wake-up call. These reforms are the lifeline that Zimbabwe needs to avert an impending state collapse, which even the partisan military and politicized judiciary cannot prevent. This realization should prompt ZANU PF to embrace liberal democratic transitions, ushering in a new era of economic liberalization, the rule of law, and devolution of power.

As it stands, it is ZANU PF, not Zimbabwe, that owes the World Bank an astonishing $1.052 billion in United States currency. Shockingly, not a cent of this money has been invested in the welfare of the people, whom ZANU PF has long neglected. Instead, the party has engaged in parasitism, pilfering, and plundering. The question arises: where has this money disappeared to? Has it been allocated to public goods and services such as healthcare or utilities like water and energy? Regrettably, the answer is a resounding no.

Furthermore, it is evident that these billions have not been channeled into modernizing and mechanizing agriculture or revitalizing the decaying industrial sector, both casualties of ZANU PF’s populist yet deindustrialization policies. Had these investments been made, Zimbabwe wouldn’t be grappling with food insecurity, as identified by the World Food Programme, which requires $65 million to address. Similarly, unemployment and hyperinflation wouldn’t be skyrocketing if the money had been funneled into revamping the industrial sector, ensuring a balance between money supply and available goods and services.

In essence, ZANU PF’s pursuit of more debt spells doom for Zimbabweans, as it perpetuates a cycle of poverty and destitution. In October, ZANU PF reluctantly acknowledged an external debt of an astounding $13.7 billion in United States dollars. Yet, there is scant evidence that Scarfmore, the party’s leader, and his cronies have any tangible assets to show for these billions. Instead, the money appears to have vanished into offshore accounts and tax havens, underscoring the party’s cries about targeted sanctions.

Zimbabweans find themselves trapped in a vicious cycle of mounting debt and deepening despair, while ZANU PF’s insatiable appetite for loans remains unchecked. It is high time the party prioritizes the welfare of its citizens over its own interests and addresses the pressing issues of debt mismanagement and corruption. Until then, Zimbabweans continue to bear the burden of a party that appears more interested in self-preservation than in the well-being of its people.

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