By Davison Vandira
GOVERNMENT is walking the talk in terms of accountability and transparency after releasing the utilisation schedule of the US$958 million received through the International Monetary Fund Special Drawing Rights.
The schedule was announced in the 2023 national budget presented by Finance and Economic Development Minister, Professor Mthuli Ncube last week.
Investments in social sectors such as provision of safety nets, health and educational support services accounted for US$212 million with the largest chunk being used for the procurement of COVID-19 vaccines and ambulances.
US$154 million has been channelled to infrastructure development with the rehabilitation of the Harare-Beitbridge road the largest beneficiary.
Dam construction projects also benefitted as the government sought to provide infrastructure commensurate to the targeted economic vision of an upper middle income society by 2030.
The mainstay of the country’s economy, agriculture has so far received US$50 million, with US$30 million being directed towards the revival of the country’s horticulture industry under a revolving fund.
The other US$20 million has gone to resuscitate irrigation schemes under government’s agriculture sustainable transformation strategy to enhance food and nutrition security with a bias towards rural areas.
The country’s re-industrialisation agenda through the retooling exercise got a windfall of US$30 million earmarked to prop up all the industrial value chains as the manufacturing sector modernises its processes to improve product competitiveness in local and external markets.
The tourism sector, which took a heavy blow from COVID-19 induced lockdowns received US$10 million to boost the industry which contributes immensely to the country’s Gross Domestic Product.
The country’s top foreign currency earner, the mining sector received US$10 million for development of green field projects and strengthening existing operations.
The remaining US$220 million is under a contingency fund for the 2023 financial year.
Good corporate governance through enhancing transparency and accountability has been at the centre of the Second Republic’s work ethic since its inception in 2017.