Zim seeks $500m credit lines in Davos

FINANCE minister Mthuli Ncube says he is hoping to secure $500 million in lines of credit at the World Economic Forum annual conference currently underway in Davos, Switzerland.

BY TATIRA ZWINOIRA

Zimbabwe is hard pressed for foreign currency and is unable to pay suppliers resulting in fuel deliveries to the southern African nation being cut off.
Long winding queues stretching for miles have become a common feature throughout the country.

Just last week, the country was rocked by nationwide protests a day after President Emmerson Mnangagwa announced an increase in the price of fuel from $1,45 to $3,11 a litre.

Mnangagwa had planned to travel to Davos but cancelled his trip at the last hour to deal with the crisis back home.

“We are looking everywhere. We are looking east, west and everywhere where we think we can approach…while I am here I am hoping to approach three private sector credit providers who are very keen to work with us especially in providing fuel, in giving us a couple of credit lines up to $500 million.
So we continue to source credit lines and this is normal,” Ncube said in an interview with Bloomberg.

Ncube spent the better part of Tuesday being grilled on how he intended to attract investment, considering government’s heavy handed approach in dealing with the recent protests where security forces indiscriminately fired live rounds at civilians.

“My message in Davos is that we want to engage the international community and to fully engage with others. We cannot go it alone and we are also aware that Zimbabwe presents incredible opportunities foreign investment so we are availing these opportunities to them ranging from the privatisation opportunities in the telecoms sector, banking, and mining,” Ncube, he said.

“We are availing all these opportunities to investors and that is our message. Zimbabwe is open for business and we are serious about reforms but we can’t go it alone. We need the international community to support.”

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