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Government-by-Government Assessments: Zimbabwe

During the review period, the government made significant progress by ensuring actual revenues and expenditures reasonably corresponded to those in the enacted budget.  The government also made its executive budget proposal, enacted budget, and end-of-year report publicly available online within a reasonable period.  Information on some debt obligations was publicly available, including government guarantees of state-owned enterprise debt, but it did not publish total debt holdings by major state-owned enterprises.  The government maintained significant off-budget accounts.  Publicly available budget documents did not include a substantially complete picture of revenue and expenditures.  The budget included aggregate allocations to, but not earnings from, state-owned enterprises.  The intelligence budget was not part of the public budget, and there were no procedures in place to permit parliamentary review of it.  The supreme audit institution met international standards of independence but did not publish substantive reports within a reasonable period.  The government specified in law or regulation but did not appear to follow in practice the criteria and procedures for awarding natural resource extraction contracts or licenses.  Basic information on mining concessions was not publicly available.

Zimbabwe’s fiscal transparency would be improved by:

  • Publishing debt information of major state-owned enterprises;
  • Subjecting off-budget accounts and the intelligence budget to civilian oversight;
  • Providing a complete picture of revenues and expenditures;
  • Detailing allocations to and revenues from state-owned enterprises in budget documents;
  • Following laws and regulations governing natural resource extraction contracting and licensing in practice; and
  • Making basic information about such awards publicly available.

U.S. Department of State

The Lessons of 1989: Freedom and Our Future