Government-by-Government Assessments: Zimbabwe

During the review period, the government made significant progress by publishing a timely audit that covered the entire annual executed 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 major state-owned enterprise debt, but it did not publish total debt holdings by major state-owned enterprises.  Publicly available budget documents did not include a substantially complete picture of revenue and expenditures.  Although actual revenues and expenditures did not reasonably correspond to those in the enacted budget, the government publicly issued revised budget estimates.  The budget included aggregate allocations to, but not earnings from, state-owned enterprises.  The government maintained significant off-budget accounts not subject to audit or oversight.  The military budget, but not the intelligence budget, was subject to parliamentary oversight.  The supreme audit institution met international standards of independence and its reports contained substantive findings.  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;
  • Providing a complete picture of revenues and expenditures;
  • Detailing allocations to and revenues from state-owned enterprises in budget documents;
  • Eliminating off-budget accounts or subjecting them to adequate oversight and audit, including the intelligence budget;
  • 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