Zim seeks debt write-off under HIPC

FINANCE minister Mthuli Ncube is actively seeking to have the Zimbabwe foreign debt forgiven under the Highly Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) programme by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), a move that would spring the ailing economy into life and ease the liquidity crunch.

BY BLESSED MHLANGA

Speaking on his return from Bali, Indonesia, where heads of multi-lateral institutions have been meeting, Ncube said his presentation on debt clearance and privatisation of loss-making parastatals was well-received and if rolled out, would be the panacea to the country’s economic crisis.

“The meetings in Bali and the World Bank/IMF annual meetings were very successful. The Transitional Stabilisation Programme (TSP) that I presented was well-received by all the partners as a way to revive the Zimbabwe economy. The programme hinges on a variety of issues such as arrears clearance. Again, we came up with a very strong and credible roadmap for that, which includes both HIPC and non-HIPC options for resolving Zimbabwe’s arrears situation,” Ncube told State-owned media journalists yesterday.

Zimbabwe has, in the past few years, tried to have its crippling debt cleared under the HIPC programme, but failed, with critics arguing that the country’s toxic political environment, then under former President Robert Mugabe, were to blame.

Mugabe spent the last years of his rule ranting at the West, accusing them of seeking a regime change agenda.

However, former Finance minister Tendai Biti yesterday ripped into Ncube’s reform plan, saying it was the worst economic blueprint Zimbabwe has had in a long time.

Biti, who serves as deputy national chairman of the opposition MDC Alliance and now chairperson of the Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee, accused Ncube of failing to grasp elementary economics. The former Treasury chief, however, seemed to agree with Ncube on seeking debt clearance through the HIPC programme.

“A lot has to be done, which is very technical. So one of the things we have to do is deal with debt, and we propose to deal with debt through the HIPC programme. That programme is very good because it allows your debts to be cancelled and forgiven if you behave well, if you run the economy well. So you get rewarded, but you have to be a low-income country, you have to be poor,” Biti said.

But he argued Ncube had literally shot himself in the foot by claiming Zimbabwe was a $25 billion economy.

“How do you do that? You have no research, no empirical study. Our GDP [gross domestic product] is $13 billion. He doubles it up. Are you a mad man? What are you smoking?” Biti queried.

“Suddenly, we are now a middle-income country. Our per capita income is now $1 500 to $1 700. That is why I said Ncube is a disaster. He is a time bomb that is waiting to explode. He has done more damage to this economy than (former finance minister Patrick) Chinamasa.”

19 Comments

  1. Nowhere in the world would you have your debts cancelled for nothing. Even in heaven you don’t have God cancelling your sins for nothing but it’s always in in return for loss of any personal freedoms and sovereignty eternally. Debt cancellation means you lose the collateral security to the creditor,in our case being all our land and mineral resources – and that’s back to zero if not minus infinity position. In short HIPC means liquidation and Parliament(The Shareholders) must never be tempted to approve Mthuli Ncube’s application for Mnangagwa’s political expedience through liquidation of Zimbabwe. While it is acceptable not to have economic literacy, it is unacceptable for Parliamentarians to show lack of common sense while occupying such
    critical position of an MP. What is needed in this country is to work(produce)on our resources and repay those debts,some of which are very silly to say the least. Biti and Ncube should know better.

  2. Nowhere in the world would you have your debts cancelled for nothing. Even in heaven you don’t have God cancelling your sins for nothing but it’s always in in return for loss of any personal freedoms and sovereignty eternally. HIPC status or Debt Cancellation means you lose the collateral security to the creditor,in our case being all our land and mineral resources – and that’s back to zero if not minus infinity position. In short HIPC means liquidation and Parliament(The Shareholders) must never be tempted to approve Mthuli Ncube’s application for Mnangagwa’s political expedience through liquidation of Zimbabwe. While it is acceptable not to have economic literacy, it is unacceptable for Parliamentarians to show lack of common sense while occupying such
    critical position of an MP. What is needed in this country is to work(produce)on our resources and repay those debts,some of which are very silly to say the least. Biti and Ncube should know better.

  3. is there a problem for Biti to just present his facts without insulting others

    1. tendai chaminuka

      No Biti is hurt internally coz he once proposed that Zim be declared a Highly Indebted Country zvikarambwa nekuti Bob feared that it was more like giving up all our resources which will actaully happen if Ncube takes that root and Zimbabwe will be a colony again.

      1. He is not hurt internally but Biti is a mentally deranged person just like jis principal. They will never appreciate anything unless it is done by themselves. Honesty and Intergrity are qualities required as well. Why does Mthuli have to under declare the position of our economy? Biti ndiwo mabire awaiita mari kuTreasury through double dipping.

  4. Never ever shall we sacrifice Zimbabwe and its entire national interests on the alter of Mnangagwa’s political expedience and desperation to cling to power. On this one Bob was right….icho chambotitadzisa kuita value addition and beneficiation munyika ine vanhu vakadzidza kudai chii?… kusvika pakuti munhu anogwira kuita hupresident hwekumukira kuenda kuoffice zuva rega rega kunoshanda kufunga kuti zuva ranhasi ndonokereta nyika ipi?

    1. Sorry meant…..ndokwereta nyika ipi?

  5. Never ever shall we sacrifice Zimbabwe and its entire national interests on the alter of Mnangagwa’s political expedience and desperation to cling to power. On this one, Bob was very right….icho chambotitadzisa kuita value addition and beneficiation munyika ine vanhu vakadzidza kudai chii?… kusvika pakuti munhu anogwinyira kuita hupresident hwekumukira kuenda kuoffice zuva rega rega kunoshanda kufunga kuti zuva ranhasi ndonokereta nyika ipi?

  6. Ncube’s sentiments are ‘same song on repeat’ Chinamsa claimed similar success after the Lima meeting in 2015. No Mr Mthuli that was just another holiday for yourself and cronies everything you presented was thrown into the dustbin immediately you left the round table.

  7. nhai vaBiti ko kutukana kwabvepiko zvatiri vana veimba imwe chete wani…i think we should learn to respect one another especially you leaders learn to lead by example…kana mukataura mazwi akashata kudaro imi ko isu tozoita seiwo manji chokwadi tinoda vatungamiriri vanehunhu….maitwa sei naVaNcube? kana aine paari kupotsa ko munhuwoka munomubatsira zvakanaka nyika yofambira mberi hapana anogona apa kana imiwo wani makazvitadzawo wani asi hatina kumbokutukai uuuuuu dzorai mazwi enyu haakodzeri kubva kuvakuru vatinotarisira kuti vatitungamirire.

  8. Comment..good tendai biti

    1. Good for what???…..Biti doesn’t recommend others….he will die a full time Opposition..

  9. The beautiful ones are not yet born

    Biti wants to act like he knows everything especially finance issues. He has to criticize everything pretending to be an expert, yet he has no valid argument.

  10. ……and the next thing you read that top of the range all terrain vehicles have been bought for remaining chiefs, Ministers and MPs have been bought and delivered! Lets be serious Africans!!!

  11. I think for the sake of the MAD Biti,..and no less for his gullible followers who mistake his insanity for brilliance…Biti should be committed to a mental asylum until his mental state has been ascertained,to continue courting and quoting him is to encourage the mad fellow’s ill-educated conceit and his quixotic imposture that he is an authority where financial matters are concerned.

  12. Under Biti your debt lay at 290million when GNU ended?

    2013-17 debt went to 4.8 BILlION

    Under your new dispensation debt has DOUBLED to 9.5 BILLION in just
    10 MONThS.

    Biti is the only decent Finance minister Zimbabwe has EVER had.

  13. Beggars at it and will be scrounging for more to suit their personal needs like chartering a plane for someone who can afford to charter their own

  14. Siyai Biti, “professor weEconomics”ega. KKKK

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