Court forces government to disclose billions of unauthorized borrowings

Minister of Finance Mthuli Ncube

US$1, 4 billion loans from Afreximbank since 2017

HARARE — Finance minister Mthuli Ncube has said the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe received three loans from Afreximbank since 2017 totalling a massive US$1, 4 billion.
The admission yesterday was after the Treasury had been ordered by the High Court to disclose information on public loans incurred by the government since 2017.
Ncube indicated that in December 2017, a US$600 million loan “for the purchase of strategic commodities” was acquired from the Afreximbank but there is no explanation as to what strategic commodities meant.
He also said in May 2019, a US$500 million loan for “strategic commodities and Prospective Currency Reform Programme” was also granted by the Afreximbank.
Then in December 2019, a US$300 million loan “for the purchase of strategic commodities” was also granted by the bank.
This comes amid accusations by some Members of Parliament, especially MDC Alliance’s Tendai Biti, that the Treasury was borrowing without seeking approval from Parliament.
There have been calls for the government to be more transparent with regards to the public debt considering that it is the members of the public who will repay the loans.
The government claims that the money was put to good use but some believe the money was abused by political elites hence the need for transparency.

— Pindula News

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