He said this was largely because the country was under sanctions and the US$15 million was part of a co-financing which when added up came to US$67 million.
Parliament therefore had to ratify the loan because it had already ratified another loan for US$35.7 million from the International Fund for Agricultural Development.
“The Hon. Member mentioned something very critical to say, we need to work together as a nation. I think the situation that we are in, part of it is because at some point we were not working together as a nation. I think if we continue working together as a nation, this is going to assist us,” Chiduwa said.
“This loan is very important to us. I would implore Parliament to ratify it also because Parliament ratified the other component of USD35.7 million. So, there is co-financing. The moment the other 15 million is not ratified, then it means the other 35.7 million will then fall off. I think it will be a dis-service for Parliament not to support our small holder farmers.”
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (HON. CHIDUWA): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. The submission by Hon. Nduna; he applauded the position taken by the Government to secure the loan from the OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID) to support our small holder farmers. I think this is very critical for us as a country.
Why? Because if you check our NDS1, one of the critical pillars is the pillar on food and nutrition security and on growth and stability again; this is also going to add to our GDP. So I think the submission by Hon. Nduna is well taken and aids our realisation of NDS1 and Vision 2030.
Then the submission by Hon. Biti, he is saying our country has got a GDP of around USD18 billion and surely we should not borrow such a small amount. I think what I would want to bring to the attention of Hon. Members; which as a country we should not take for granted, I know the moment we mention the issue of sanctions, people think this is a small issue. The country is under sanctions and we have limitations in terms of what we can do as a country. The Hon. Member mentioned that we are burdened; we have a hamstrung that is over us because of our arrears and level of debt that is around USD17.6 billion and with that, we are also struggling to service that debt as a country.
So the issue of the USD15million, we need not to take it in isolation. If Hon. Members recall, last year I came to this august House with a similar request for a ratification of the loan agreement between the Government of Zimbabwe and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD). The IFAD is around USD35.7million and the USD15million. So, the IFAD and OFID are co-financing. Then we have a contribution that is coming from the Government of Zimbabwe, the private sector and farmers; if we take everything in totality, it would be around USD67million but we also need to take into account that the loan is not going to individual farmers.
Continued next page