Deputy Finance Minister explains why Zimbabwe is justified to get a loan for US$15 million


I said that this is a Smallholder Agriculture Cluster Programme (SACP) where we are taking farmers, bring them together as a cluster and then develop them around an irrigation scheme.  This, I think we also need to take note that we are not targeting individual farmers but these are clusters.  So if we take the IFAD and the OFID, the USD35.7million that was ratified by Parliament last year, bring in the USD15million then I think this is where we can again comment on whether it is too small or not.  I think for us as a country that is under sanctions, USD15million is not a small figure and we need it as long as it is going to develop our farmers.

Then the other issue is on the need for us to be compliant.  This is very critical, which is coming from the Hon. Member.  Again, I bring the same issues where he says, why are we in the situation that we are in?  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.  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. 

Hon. Mushoriwa raised more or less same points as presented by Hon. Biti to say we have got the capacity to borrow but why is it that we are borrowing such small amounts.  I think I have mentioned to say our issue is, we are hamstrung with sanctions and we are also developing our capacity as a country that is under sanctions.  He mentioned that why is it that the loan agreement is just covering five provinces – it is not like that.  If you check, Parliament again ratified a loan agreement under OFID and Small Holder Irrigation Revitalisation Programme (SIRP) – that loan agreement covered Matabeleland South, Masvingo, Midlands and Manicaland.  Now, we are also saying given that Parliament is going to ratify this one; it means we are then going to cover all the provinces but the SIRP covered the other provinces where Hon. Mushoriwa said we seem to be excluding them – so all the provinces are covered.

Why are we having committees – if you check the provisions of the loan agreements, it is a requirement that we should have committees.  We were trying to be compliant to the conditions as set by OFID and IFAD. 

The Hon. Member also mentioned the issue of late disbursements especially on inputs.  This may not relate directly to the ratification but I would want to mention that on late disbursement; it is the disturbance that happened in the fertiliser supply chains.  We had to import some of the components of the fertiliser that we are using here in Zimbabwe; because of the war that is in Russia and Ukraine, this is also what can be attributed to the slow supply chain movement.  The other issue is for us to be able to balance our cash flows.  We have mentioned that as Government we are running a cash budget and we only release funds on condition that those funds are there.  When they are not there, there is nothing that we can do.  It is a combination of all that.  I think the Hon. Member understands that.   The system does not take the country forward. 

Continued next page


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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.


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