We don’t have a penny, Minister tells Paris

Source: We don’t have a penny, Minister tells Paris – NewZimbabwe 30/06/2016

“RIGHT now we literally have nothing,” Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa said in Paris, France Thursday as he sought help for economically stricken Zimbabwe.

Asked in an interview with Radio France International (RFI) how much credit he was looking for Chinamasa said: “You know there’s no limit”.

The treasury chief travelled to France (and from there he is due in London) to meet with lenders at the Paris Club as well as meet business leaders in a bid to revive a comatose economy back home.

He left behind angry teachers and nurses after postponing their June salaries to July 7 and 14 respectively because the government has no money.

Hospital doctors have already announced they will stop reporting for work until their June salaries are paid while the education sector could also be rocked by industrial action.

Chinamasa is trying to strike a deal on Zimbabwe’s debt default – so that the country could try and borrow again.

He has struck a deal with lenders on Zimbabwe’s almost two billion dollars of arrears. If finalised, the deal would signal Zimbabwe’s return to financial markets after almost two decades.

The agreement has however, been met with skepticism back home.

“Right now we have such a massive liquidity shortage that you can’t even get money out of the banks,” economist John Robertson told RFI by phone.

“The government did an immense amount of damage … through its land reform policies and indigenization law, but it has never wanted to admit they did any damage at all.”

The indigenisation programme has been blamed by economists for the country’s low foreign direct investment (FDI).

“It’s for this reason no one is coming to Zimbabwe and those companies that are here have not recovered,” says Robertson.

This poor economic outlook may have spurred Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa’s visit to Paris on Thursday.

“I am of course looking for increased lines of credit,” he told RFI.

“We’ve had some French state enterprises who are in the financial sector giving support to our productive sectors through our commercial banks and I’ve come to solicit and also ask that those lines of credit are increased.”

How much credit was he looking for?

“You know there’s no limit,’ Chinamasa replied.
“Right now we literally have nothing, so to speak. Our strategy is to achieve private-sector-driven growth in the areas of agriculture, manufacturing, tourism, mining and our biggest challenge at the moment is that we do not have sufficient lines of credit.”

International finance may help President Robert Mugabe’s government meet its obligations to the Zimbabwean people, not a negligeable consideration given that fresh elections are to take place in 2018.

But repaying the arrears to obtain further credit will require more potentially sensitive measures, including public-spending cuts. There is limited appetite for that right now especially as most salaries are not getting paid.

“I don’t think we would qualify for any more loans,” Robertson reckons.

“Zimbabwe needs to prove that it can handle more debt, but the fact that we are in arrears in the first place clearly proves that we can’t manage the debt we already have.”

Private and public debt

Currently Zimbabwe owes 10 billion US dollars to the IMF, World Bank and the African Development Bank.

“But it’s important to distinguish between public-sector debt, [eight billion] and private-sector debt

,” Chinamasa asserts.

“The debt we are talking about clearing is eight billion from the public sector, so we can start enjoying the benefits of our membership from the three multilateral institutions.”

Chinamasa said the private sector was key to his strategy.

“The two billion private-sector debt is being serviced and everyone acknowledges that there’s been no problem with the private sector to service its debt,” he inisisted.

“For that reason, I would want to see more resources being poured into the private sector which is in a position to service any debt which it incurs, at an affordable rate.”

Experts remain unconvinced that this will contribute to “kickstarting the country’s economy”, as the minister hopes.

“The deadline for the debt deal was 30 June, it’s now been pushed back to September,” Roberston insisted.

“These arrears are just a small percentage of the total debt we already have,” begging the question of how the government plans to finance the rest.

Still the authorities in Harare remain confident.

“We’ve already secured a bridging loan from Afro Exim bank to repay the African Development Bank, at least,” Chinamasa reported.

“With respect to our arrears with the IMF, they owe us money on special drawing rights, so our strategy is that we will use that money to clear their debt of around 110 million.”

The alleged strain that indigenisation laws are putting on the economy “is no longer an issue”, according to Chinamasa.

“Zimbabwe remains open for business,” he insisted.


  • comment-avatar
    mbudzi 6 years ago

    ko chinamasa kungosiyana nazvo zvinodiniko nhai veduweee. hakuna munhu anoramba achintutira mari yake kumunhu asingadzori kani nhai. sei muchida kuita mashura pasi penyika nokuti muri vezanu here nhai.kkkkkk gore rino manenji chaiwo.

  • comment-avatar
    Joe Cool 6 years ago

    “We have secured a loan from one bank to repay the loan from another”. What kind of infantile economics is this? They are simply unable to pay anyone anything now or at any time in the future, and the only “strategy” involved is to try to obtain money to keep Zanu PF in power until, and beyond, 2018. Anyone who lends money to these people is an unprincipled criminal.

  • comment-avatar
    Roberta Mugarbage 6 years ago

    France: And how much money are you looking for?
    Zimbabwe: “You know there’s no limit”.

    Why would any European country lend money to a bunch of thieves, “no limit” indeed.

  • comment-avatar
    Diaspora 6 years ago

    OK, so let’s just suppose there is somebody stupid enough to lend this moron and his ilk a few Billion Dollars? How does he propose to repay it with the track record like the one boasted by his regime??
    One can’t help but wonder what this chap is smoking? Or is he sick and delusional, or both??

  • comment-avatar

    don’t do it !!! it will only go in the ZANU-PF pocket…they don’t care a damn about there people..time for a change enough is enough !!!!

  • comment-avatar

    Chinamasa got on the wrong plane……. he should be in the EAST…..where the free money is….. we were told… these clowns have got everything wrong for a very long time…… where are the 2000000 jobs….still in china???????

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    Jono Austin 6 years ago

    where is the $15 billion? If any money is given to Zimbabwe it diappears on shopping jaunts. Everybody knows this. They won’t get a penny and Zimbabwe will become a failed state with warlords and criminal gangs fighting for turf.

  • comment-avatar
    IAN SMITH 6 years ago




  • comment-avatar
    zindoga 6 years ago

    First I just want to laugh ha ha ha kkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk.ya this dinga , chinamasa anga akarohwa nembanje dzakaipa he wants all the European monies euros , £ etc so they can share with his zanoid friends. Ya they really want to cripple the whole world. One wonders kuti zvikwambo zvavo zvakamboita sei these devils.Shame on zanu

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    Benjamin 6 years ago

    Not a cent should be given until there is a total cessation of evictions of white farmers from Agricultural Land with immediate effect. In fact every effort should be made to get experienced farmers back on the land as soon as possible, so that the economy can be jump started again. After all, this is what has been the main cause of the collapse of the economy, aside from total ineptitude, mismanagement and corruption .

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    Maverickzw 6 years ago

    The solution is simple in theory impossible to implement. Garnishee and attach all foreign assets, bank accounts of the “chefs” I am sure if we looked hard enough we could find enough to kickstart the economy. In fact as I have suggested before the only basis for any further assistance from the West and or East should be a matching. Those chefs who have externalised billions repatriate those billions and then and only then should donors fund Zimbabwe dollar for dollar! Of course mechanics need to be put in place to ensure that the repatriated funding is not externalised again.

  • comment-avatar

    Imbwa dze zanu pf hadziguti. Nxaaaaaa

  • comment-avatar

    Useless lot just plain useless Zanoids

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    Clearminded 6 years ago

    All new Loans need go into Agricultural production, given to proven Farmers who can increase production

    • comment-avatar
      Joe Cool 6 years ago

      You are misrepresenting your clarity of thinking. There should be no new loans, as they are given to proven looters who only increase Zanu PF’s grip on power. As long as ALL financial aid is withheld – including food and medical – Zanu will be out before Xmas, without any need for the electoral reforms which they refuse to implement.