Bad debt reputation hounds Zim

HARARE - International lenders are reluctant to advance Zimbabwe credit lines because the country is heavily indebted and does not have capacity to repay, Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa has said.

He said Zimbabwe’s debt reputation made it difficult for the hard pressed country to secure loans.

“Wherever I go to ask for money I am confronted with this reality,” he said at a breakfast meeting last week, adding that “we have been unable to repay numerous loans we owe”.

“So naturally these people are very careful when it comes to dealing with us,” he said.

The Treasury chief, along with President Robert Mugabe, was recently in China were he failed to secure bail out packages, but the Asian economic giant’s expression of interest in various bankable projects in energy, infrastructure and transport.

“In China we have been in talks with Sino Sure, you cannot get a loan in China unless you go via this entity and they have been thorough in ensuring we are not taking what we cannot afford,” Chinamasa said.

This comes as the former Justice minister has revealed that Zimbabwe had paid China and Breton Woods Institutions (BWIs) “token fees” to mend relations.

The country pain China an unbudgeted $180 million towards loans.

Chinamasa said the payment is part of Zimbabwe’s effort to improve relations between the two countries.

An additional $150 000 was paid to various BWIs.

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