The Zimbabwe Coalition on Debt and Development (ZIMCODD) on Wednesday held a workshop at the Jameson hotel, Harare aimed at sensitizing media on issues to do with Debt, extractives and illicit outflows.
Speaking at the workshop ZIMCODD director Ms Patricia Kasiamhuru spoke on the need to provide capacity information to enable effective reporting. Illicit outflows generally refers to, illegally earned, transferred or spent money, in the extractive sector it involves tax evasions, corruption and illegal exploitation.
Tafadzwa Chikumbu of the African Forum and Network on Debt and Development (AFRODAD) highlighted effects of illegal illicit outflows on a country’s economy, stating that Africa loses about $50 billion in illicit financial outflows while Zimbabwe lost $12 billion over the last 3 decades.
Illicit financial flows stifle socio-economic progress examples can be pointed on the failure by some African countries to finance Millenium Development Goals leading to unsuccessful implementation of these vital causes in societies. Illicit financial flows also promotes corruption and bribery thereby increasing gain for a few and distorting funds which would have been used for poverty alleviation at the expense of ordinary Citizens, it also aggravates foreign debt leading to stagnation in progress as an economy fails to flourish.
Mr Chikumbu spoke on the need for government to ensure fiscal transparency, push for the criminalisation of tax evasions which is rampant in the informal sector, however he pointed out that “untouchable multinational cooperations “, as well as complicity of government position at times make it difficult to fully curb illicit financial flows.
Gilbert Makore of the Zimbabwe Environmental Lawyers association (ZELA ) spoke on challenges and effectiveness of the current resource mobilisation in Zimbabwe’s taxation system citing need to broaden existing tax base, increase diamond resource mobilisation and improve on transparency and accountability as a means to monitor revenue.
Media was urged to play its role in exposing issues of corruption and mishandling of taxes in order to bring justice.
Media was called upon to be factual urging research of all angles so as to be true to the public with dogmatism attributed as the greatest challenge in media.
Zimbabwe Network against illicit outflows (ZINAIF ) called upon journalists to append their signatures as a way of supporting their cause.