via CIO squandered $70m loan — Mutsvangwa – DailyNews Live by Lloyd Mbiba 6 APRIL 2014
The Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) allegedly squandered a $70 million loan facility from China meant to bankroll a tractor company, a senior government official has said.
Outspoken Foreign Affairs deputy minister Christopher Mutsvangwa, who has been shooting from the hip this week, tore into the government for failing to pay back international loans when he addressed students taking Joint Command and Staff Course No. 27 at the Zimbabwe Staff College in Harare on Wednesday.
Mutsvangwa said such behaviour impacted negatively on the country’s relations with the international community.
He cited a case where the President’s Office borrowed $70 million from China to start a tractor company in partnership with locals.
“The directors of that company squandered all that money,” Mutsvangwa said. “Today the loan is with the minister of Finance. It is being paid by taxpayers’ money. We have no good credit rating with China.
“We have moves here to say let us ask China to get forgiveness. Getting forgiveness means you are committing credit suicide. You are denying yourself capital access. We somehow believe that loans from China should not be serviced when we do not perform.”
The Norton legislator said there was need for the country to keep good diplomatic relations with China because the Asian tiger was a global giant.
He said even Western countries were now looking to China.
“Britain is looking for money from China,” Mutsvangwa said. “If you go to church and the bishop has gone to another church, then you are going to the wrong church. Go to the church where the bishop is. Ask where the British have gone to look for money.”
The opposition MDC said the state intelligence organisation should be taken to task over the abuse of the loan.
Douglas Mwonzora, MDC spokesperson, said Treasury should not use taxpayers’ money to service odious debt.
“We are appalled that the intelligence borrowed money from an international donor for a tractor business. Since when has CIOs been into tractors,” Mwonzora said. “Are tractors now State security? Surely, can we have a serious State security organisation taking loans and squandering them?
“CIOs took the loan and squandered it and this amounts to theft and they should pay. The treasury should not service the loans.
“Why should taxpayers’ money be used to cover up for corrupt State security elements?”
Mwonzora said State security apparatus were dabbling in activities that have nothing to do with their mandate.
“This is bad and it cannot be allowed to continue any day longer,” Mwonzora said. “President Mugabe is allowing State security to operate wily nily as long as they remain loyal to him. This is bad and as the MDC we say no to this.”