Zim appeals to AfDB for help

HARARE - Lean on me, When you are not strong, I’ll be your friend, I’ll help you carry on, Please swallow your pride, If I have things, You need to borrow, For no one can fill those of your needs, That you won’t let show....

I am sure when Michael Bolton wrote these lyrics for his song “Lean on Me”, Zimbabwe was not on his mind. The above words however, aptly capture the assistance Zimbabwe is seeking from the African Development Bank (AfDB).

At a press conference on Friday, newly-appointed Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa showed that his Zanu PF government does not have any immediate solution to the economic ills the country is currently facing.
Chinamasa told a press briefing yesterday that Zimbabwe “intend(s) to work with AfDB on most of the critical sectors of the economy”.

According to a report by Financial Express, the AfDB has also been tasked to come up with bankable projects to establish irrigation schemes and provide technical expertise on the securitisation of assets, so that government can unlock value of the resources which would enable capital raising.

“The bank will have to look into what extent we can use domestic resources to unlock value,” said Chinamasa.

Yes, there is nothing wrong with a nation seeking help from a regional institution of repute like the AfDB. It is however, a major let-down for a party that was advocating home-grown solutions for the country’s economic problems.

It is also an embarrassment that the minister only a few months ago castigated former minister Tendai Biti for lying when he said that there was no money to fund the country’s projects.

Biti was always lambasted for denying the agricultural sector enough funding — yet the new government also has no clue as to where it will find funding for the coming agricultural season.

Chinamasa said treasury is still in discussions over this year’s agriculture season, although he admitted that time was not on the government’s side.

“However, we are not sure where the resources will be secured from and how much is required in total, but what we know is that they will be found as we cannot over-emphasise the economic returns of a rich harvest.”

From his answers at Friday’s press briefing, Chinamasa showed that his role is more that of a liaison officer with the AfDB. Fair enough, but to leave almost the entire turnaround of the country’s economy in the hands of the AfDB is akin to surrendering the country’s sovereignty.

Where is the confidence in our people that we have to turn to the AfDB for almost everything?

More baffling is that the AfDB’s chief economist and vice-president Ntuli Ncube is a Zimbabwean.

Why didn’t we just give him the financial ministry?

The country has more capable people running institutions of repute like Nkosana Moyo on the Old Mutual board, Sifiso Dabengwa at the helm of MTN, Ben Magara at Lonmin, or Strive Masiyiwa, founder and chairperson of global telecommunications group Econet Wireless.

It might be early days yet, but from where I stand Chinamasa has done nothing to inspire confidence in the country’s future prospects.

*Sharara is Fin24’s correspondent in Zimbabwe.


Comments (10)

Its amazing how Zimbabwe has world class professionals - I remember Mthuli Ncube being at Barbican Bank during the turbulent years of the 2000s. The problem we have is the leaders who will not take any advice from these professionals. In the end these professionals end up leaving the country to places where their ideas are recognised. There surely should be a government program to encourage return of our professionals now.

mumbo - 21 September 2013

Chave chimurenga. action is a different ball game compared to mere talking. it's time for action. even though, i do not sympathise with the MDC-T, if such an important african institution has our very own zimbabwean at the helm, why didnt they engage him long back. Oh, by the way Biti said we eat what we gather. they had lots of pride to approach a man from matatbeleland because it would have put him on the spotlight and the nation would have started to debate on why he was not enticed to join the inclusive government. remember tsvangirai with his silly statement that he could not find suitably qualified individuals from the region to incoporate in the government.it pay back time

black Crow - 21 September 2013

siyanai ne AfDB.torai mari dze ngoda tisimudze nyika.

MABHOGORA - 21 September 2013

siyanai ne AfDB.torai mari dze ngoda tisimudze nyika.

MABHOGORA - 21 September 2013

We heard this ZANU(PF) nonsense before, hee we will make sure Iran will give us oil in exchange for nyimo, hee we will get oil from Libya in exchange of nyimo ne nzungu bla bla bla. Now they want AfDB to give money in exchange of minerals. Ndiko kupererwa ikoko. If the minerals have value, why not sell them on the open market and raise cash for your projects Patrick? AIDS yobaya pfungwa dzapera. Why would you want to translate your problems of failing to sell your minerals at market value to the AfDB. The role of AfDB is not to sell minerals but to get profit from interest charged to paying clients and Zimbabwe is not one of the paying clients. Chinamasa's objective is just what the ZANU(PF) government has been doing, generate false hope. Nothing is going to come out of any such plans and so Zimbabweans have to brave themselves for Armageddon.

Chipoto - 22 September 2013

Let me assure Zimbabweans from all walks of life that this country is endowed with talent. Talk of any field pertaining to human activity, there is one of us somewhere who can ably execute it. So where are we going wrong? In my opinion, we tend to politicize any idea. Why can't we have a committee,commission of some sought, which is not politically biased, where open-minded people who love their country can offer free advice, for onward transmission to the relevant authorities.

John Moyo - 22 September 2013

moromo wagara hauzarirwi nurwizi like I said before its very easy to critisis others pls Mr Chinamasa perform now you say Biti is politicking we do not want excuses ,remember you saying MDC T is the one which is refusing to give civil servants pay rise .can you please give them now ,stop[ promising people ,personally I do not think its time to continue to talk of MDC YOU ARE THE PEOPLE AT THE HELM of the country please deliver and shame the devil .there are many things which you promised ,all the industries in Bulawayo,Gweru, kwe kwe, kadoma, chegutu,norton, Harare ,Mutare and many more around the country this you said it with your own mouth no one was holding a gun for you so please NO MORE EXCUSES

mr honest - 22 September 2013

This minister is shallow how do you take up a post in finance then within days in office you surrender all your economic plan to the AFDB,In this country we only need INVESTORS who have money not GUARANTEES on paper like what has become the culture in ZIM now ,DIAMONDS are dug on guarantees and the country doesn't get anything.CHINAMASA is not anywhere near to a FINANCE MINISTER he should have stayed at LEGAL AFFAIRS.His President now is looking for friends around the world forgetting that he said during the elections that he doesn't need them.They were complaining that MDC was the stumbling block to proggress now we want to see how they are going to RIG the ECONOMY .Agricultural sector will never save us from this crisis ,AUTOCRATS have given up on ZANU PF because they have seen that this party does not take advice .THE WEST IS THE ONLY ANSWER TO OUR ECONOMIC PROBLEMS NOT EAST OR CHINA

CASHTALK - 22 September 2013

This got this Finance job simply because his Cv says he is the one who introduced the imperialist currency and got rid of our national currency. He has nothing else to offer besides licking the President's Boots.

Squarebasher - 22 September 2013

Is this new economics theory or the usual Mugabe- Gono nowChinamasa madness. The questions should be is there any country that has mortgaged itself from underdevelopment ?

Tafadzwa - 23 September 2013

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