No Chinese money for desperate Chinamasa

via No Chinese money for desperate Chinamasa – The Zimbabwe Independent January 24, 2014 by Herbert Moyo/Elias Mambo

ZIMBABWE is fast running out of funding options after Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa returned home empty-handed from his recent trip to China where the Chinese requested “bankable projects instead of policy pronouncements”, the Zimbabwe Independent can reveal.

Highly-placed government sources said Chinamasa, accompanied by Deputy Foreign Affairs minister Christopher Mutsvangwa, failed to convince the Chinese business community in Beijing and Shanghai two weeks ago to loan Zimbabwe funds using the country’s minerals as security.

Chinamasa was hoping to secure US$10 billion in funding to finance the ambitious Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation (ZimAsset), a policy document pitched as the panacea for economic revival by the Zanu PF government.

“The Chinese wanted something more tangible than a mere policy pronouncement such as ZimAsset,” said a top government official, adding that “they were very clear that they wanted bankable projects as well as a breakdown of when the projects that the government plans to undertake will break even.”

The official said Chinamasa’s meetings were only confined to the banking sector and representatives of companies with business interests in Zimbabwe.

“It is not that the Chinese government snubbed them,” said the source, “but they felt that since the Zimbabwean delegation had come to discuss business matters, it was therefore necessary for them to meet with people in that sector.”

The most senior official, Chinamasa met was with Li Ruogu, the executive president of the China Export Import (Exim) Bank, but there was no joy for the Finance minister who is desperate to secure funding for ZimAsset.

“They (Chinese) also wanted to know the repayment plans, but Chinamasa could not provide details,” the source said. “Ever sticklers for detail, they demanded to know how the projects will be set up, how they will be run and when they will start generating revenue as well as a repayment plan.”

According to the bank’s website, China Exim Bank was founded in 1994 and is a state bank solely owned by the Chinese government under the direct leadership of the State Council. It is headquartered in Beijing.

Chinamasa’s delegation also met with the China Development Bank, China State Engineering Corporation, China Highway Group and China Africa Sunlight Energy Company to start negotiations on rebuilding the country’s infrastructure.

Discussions with the China Highway Group centred around the Harare-Beitbridge dualisation project while those with China Africa Sunlight Energy centred on the company constructing a 600 megawatt thermal power station in Gwayi at an estimated cost of US$2 billion.

Efforts to get comment from Chinamasa were futile as his mobile phones went unanswered and text messages were not responded to. Mutsvangwa said it was not prudent for him to answer questions on the trip as Chinamasa was head of delegation.

Government is desperate for funding to turn around the economy, but more doors seem to be closing in its face.

In October last year, Chinamasa returned from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank meetings in Washington with nothing to show. Upon his return, he said the IMF would not be loosening its purse-strings for Zimbabwe any time soon.

“We still owe them money, and because of that they have put us under the staff monitored programme and they will not be giving us fresh money or new concessionary loans until we complete that programme,” Chinamasa said.

Last November, he came just short of begging the IMF to advance lines of credit to the country when he asked them to be “open-minded with the unique situation that Zimbabwe finds itself in”.

In December 2013, government pleaded with the United Nations to bail out the country by scaling down its humanitarian programmes and instead channel the funds to development work that would support ZimAsset.

ZimAsset aims to grow the economy by 6,1% this year, with the ultimate target of achieving a 9,9% growth rate by 2018 — but government is struggling to secure funding for these plans.

Among other targets, ZimAsset seeks to rebuild infrastructure, create two million jobs, re-open closed factories, pay off the country’s external debt and provide cheap housing and better access to identity documents. It also seeks to run all government buildings on solar energy by 2015.

The country’s external debt is estimated at about US$6 billion. This has dampened prospects of any immediate balance of payments support from the World Bank.

In its latest report released last month, the World Bank insisted that it would not extend any financial assistance to Zimbabwe under the Highly Indebted Poor Countries facility unless the country clears its arrears.

“The country will be eligible for assistance if it meets end-2004 and end-2010 indebtedness criteria and clears its arrears to the Poverty Reduction and Growth Trust,” reads part of the report.

The African Development Bank estimates that Zimbabwe needs US$14 billion to fix multilateral lenders, which stopped lending to Harare in 1999 because of arrears. Zimbabwe has an estimated debt of US$10,7 billion, which represents 110% of GDP.

Government breathed a sigh of relief this week when it received a US$53,4 million grant to implement six infrastructural development projects from the Zimbabwe Multi-Donor Trust Fund and the African Development Fund.

The deal was negotiated by former finance minister Tendai Biti.



  • comment-avatar
    moyokumusha 8 years ago

    Look east, look west, look north, look south, all are deserting you, new government or new minister with new promises makes no difference. Eish we are in trouble until you crooks go and we get a credible government who are going to respect the people and constitution. We should have ignored the North ( Korea ) in 1980 and had no gukuruhundi and stay with the western money and today Bob would have been on the invite list to Obama’s party.

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    adam jones 8 years ago

    Zvirikunetsa. Even zhing-zhong haana kuiwana? Land slide victory – tongai tione ka!!!!!! Ruku east ruku east shindi dzezanu.

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    On Wednesday a guy on this forum said

    “Who is Obama? We don’t give a damn!! This guy doesn’t mean good to Africa. He is doing the White man’s bidding. A ceremonial black President!!! What has he done for Africa all these years he has been in power! He is just competing with the short and Chinese guys who have taken Africa by a storm. Obama’s masters know that Bob won’t stomach nonsense. They well know he sees through their schemes. Solution: don’t invite the intelligent old man”

    The Chinese have taken Africa by storm? YEAH RIGHT.

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    woosafoolinawho 8 years ago

    The multi million dollar question… Where is the diamond money?

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    The Chinese are not fools. ZImbabwe is a fly speck that no one needs. Until the government shows that it is a responsible partner who will protect foreign investments, it cannot expect any outside financial support, and Zimbabwe will remain a fly speck.

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    ttaps3 8 years ago

    Everybody is on one knee in front of Mugabe –why not go on 2 knees with a begging bowel to the Chinese. Dont forget the pictures– they may drop some coins– everything helps– kneeling is no longer will be good publicity too.

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    John Thomas 8 years ago

    Chinamasa’s main skill is that of a loud mouth bully. Very useful locally I am sure, but not out in the world.

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    obert 8 years ago

    The Chinese wont give money for no return. Only the West used to give away millions and millions to Mugabe but not anymore. I am sure he misses that. Its all about the economy these days not just politics. The Chinese built their country through their own hard work. Why should we think that they will just give us their money? Stupid zanupf, lazy fools. Kujaira kungotora zvevamwe. Manje twumazhingaz twakangwara. So Chinamasa went to sell the country lock stock and barrel to China? Well the Chinese know that this is not sustainable in the long term as the end for mugabe and zanupf is very near. If the Chinese wanted to help mugabe they could have done that years ago, but alas, they know the lazy and useless type.

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    God will not be mocked. This economy will be ZPF’s waterloo and a serious judgement from God. There needs to be serious repentance in this nation. No repentance! No restoration!

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    God’s judgment is knocking on the door. God Himself is drying up the coffers.

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    Don Cox 8 years ago

    The last election gave ZanuPF enough rope to hang themselves with.

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    wareva don cox

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    Simple. The chinks know perfectly well that zanupf are dead buried. They are rushing to loot as much as possible before zanupf is finally dead buried. They don’t care as long as they can milk Africa to keep their 2 two billion povo from not revolting. So simple

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    Tiger Shona 8 years ago

    One cannot help but wonder; Why does Chinamasa not chew out or insult all these institutions and governments that are not willing to give them the money they want?
    Why do you not threaten them with unspecified punishment like we have been subjected to in Zimbabwe, for just living a normal life.
    Why do you not threaten to just confiscate that money from them like Zanu PF has done to so many Zimbabweans???

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    We should of seen when Bennett floored him in Parli that he is a coward. He started it and then got poor Bennett arrested because he was afraid to get another beating.

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    Tiger Shona 8 years ago

    That is more like it!