Zimbabwe Coalition on Debt and Development says resource mobilisation, allocation and expenditure at local levels is still shrouded in secrecy, making it difficult for residents to hold public officials to account.

Meanwhile, residents associations have shared experiences on the impact of Zimbabwe’s debt crisis on service delivery, as the nation awaits the 2021 National Budget which is expected to be presented tomorrow.

Clearly, Zimbabwe’s public debt has electrocuted the capacity of local authorities to deliver public services, they say.

Dr V Chakunda of Midlands State University has implored the central government to revive the PSIP grant to enable local authorities to invest in strategic capital investments at local level.

Zimbabwe’s total debt at the end of 2019 was estimated at $143 billion, which translates to about 80,8% of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP).

Of this debt, domestic debt stood at $11 billion. The government through its newly launched economic blueprint, National Development Strategy 1 (NDS1), said worsening the country’s debt position was the rapid accumulation of external arrears.

In the document, the government also admitted that the country was in debt distress, with unsustainable public and publicly guaranteed total external debt and large external debt arrears.

Zimbabwe is one of the countries presenting a contrasting perspective as its increase in public debt stock has not influenced a corresponding growth.