Zimbabwe pays off $44 million of foreign debt

Zimbabwean five and two dollar bond banknotes, nicknamed zollars, are displayed in an arranged photo in Harare, Zimbabwe, on Friday, Dec. 29, 2017. Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa said his new administration will woo investors and embark on an all-out business initiative to revive an economy that has halved since 2000 and provides jobs for just one in 10 Zimbabweans. Photographer: Waldo Swiegers/Bloomberg via Getty Images

President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s administration paid 44.2 million U.S. dollars to foreign creditors during the nine months to September, as part of its refreshed debt repayment plan, data showed at the weekend.

But at this rate of settlement, it could take Harare over 300 years to pay off the mounting debts and interest.

The data released by Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube in his annual debt analysis showed that Zimbabwe’s external debt increased to 13.7 billion U.S. dollars during the period.

Big global lenders have turned their backs on Zimbabwe citing an inability to service existing commitments.

But Ncube revealed in July that he would be fighting to demonstrate the government’s commitment to pay down its debts through token payments.

Ncube said in the paper that the 44 million was paid to active portfolios, international financial institutions (IFIs) and Paris Club creditors.

The debt has been blamed for the country’s struggle to secure fresh bailouts from IFIs to stabilize its troubled economy.

 

Original article published by NewsDay Zimbabwe