Botswana is reportedly dragging its feet on the promised disbursement of a $70 million credit facility to Zimbabwe under the Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (Bippa).
Economic Planning and Investment Promotion minister Tapiwa Mashakada revealed this at the launch of the provincial Mid-Term Plan (MTP 2011-2015) on Monday in Bulawayo.
He said the agreement had already been signed and ratified, but the Botswana government was retarding the process.
“The issue is that Botswana said they wanted their own banks to handle the money and disperse directly to Zimbabwe, which is not possible as we both have to agree on that,” he said.
“The final lap is now in the hands of the Finance and Development Planning minister in Botswana (Kenneth Matambo) to honour their part of the deal,” he said.
“As Zimbabwe, we have done our part.”
Mashakada added Zimbabwe had signed similar agreements with South Africa and Iran and was now waiting for the two countries to honour their side of the bargain.
In March, Zimbabwe and Botswana signed the Bippa, paving way for the unlocking of lines of credit worth $70 million.
Botswana had set the agreement as a precondition for Zimbabwe to access lines of credit from the neighbouring country.
Bippa is an agreement establishing the terms and conditions for private investment by nationals and companies from countries involved.
The lines of credit should boost capacity utilisation in the medium term in the manufacturing sector from the current average of 53% to about 80%.
The funds would be made available mainly to the country’s manufacturing sector which is desperate for recapitalisation.