Zimbabwe must clear debts to get funds

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Zimbabwe needs to clear its debts to access funds from the international market, Bankers Association of Zimbabwe (BAZ) president, Sam Malaba has said.

BY Stephen Chadenga

Malaba said the country’s international re-engagement with multi-lateral financial institutions was being hampered by a hug external debt, which he said needed to be re-paid to access international finance.

The country has an external debt of $6,8 billion, arrears to multilateral institutions of $2,2 billion, Paris Club arrears of $1,7 billion and $6 million owed to non-Paris Clubs.

“In order to raise capital on the international market we must be able to repay our international debts,” Malaba said at the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI) congress that ended in Gweru last Friday.

“For us to borrow internationally we need to clear our debts and accumulated arrears and in our case we have $2,2 billion owed to multi-lateral institutions making it impossible for us to access international capital from International Monetary Fund, World Bank and African Development Bank.”

He said failing to settle debts made Zimbabwe not credit worth and a high risk country for investors.

Malaba said the country had the best climate and vast minerals but investors continued to shun it as a business destination.

“We have to address the issue of debts, sanctions such as Zidera from the United States and put in place consistent economic policies,” he said.