By Leonard Koni.
Harare, Zimbabwe. (News of The South) – The President and his team has started running and hitting the ground and on Tuesday Ambassador Ping said the Chinese government has set aside US$213 million for the rehabilitation of the Robert Mugabe International Airport and the New Parliament building in a signing ceremony of the money today in Harare.
Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa said the country’s 2018 budget, which will be presented on Thursday, will send a clear message to the world that Zimbabwe is now ready for business.
This is a new lease of life to the ailing Zimbabwe’s economy which was in a bad state and needed serious resuscitation. The administration in Harare has pledged to re-engage the
international community and rebuild the Southern African nation’s crumbling economy.
Decades of isolation by the international lenders coupled by policy nconsistencies and reluctance to reign in on excessive spending by Robert Mugabe’s government had led to a complete collapse of the economy.
Zimbabwe has no currency of it’s
own for nearly a decade and has resorted to issuing treasury bills to finance government activities. According to the Central Bank of Zimbabwe as at June 30, $2,5 billion treasury bills were in stock.
Last year government accumulated a current account deficit of $ 55,8 million. Chinamasa told reporters on
Wednesday, after signing an agreement for a $153 million Chinese loan to facelift Zimbabwe’s main Airport that
government was facing difficulties
in paying up it’s debts, even those
owed to China.
Zimbabwe’s external debt currently stands at $10,96 billion.
The country has run into difficulties in the past year or so. It was unable to service its loans hence other countries were too hesitant to bail it out.
The Chinese government and the Zimbabwean government have been all weather friends for a long time and this is not new.
Harare has been at the receiving end of several loans from Beijing through the ChinaExim bank.
Minister Patrick Chinamasa said the country was now going to shape its economy and build the capacity to honor international obligations. He said that he was aware that it was not going to happen over night but it is a process and that tomorrow’s budget will show the world that Zimbabwe was back on track and ready to engage with serious partners.
He said the country was back in business to rebuild the poor performing economy so that we are able to build capacity to honor the obligations not only to China but the rest of the multilateral lenders.
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