Zimbabwe’s former white farmers are reasonable men and women who are always ready to engage constructively with the government so there is no need to panic about whether the government will be able to meet its payment to compensate them in June, Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube told Parliament yesterday.
He had been asked to produce the agreement that Zimbabwe reached with the white farmers to compensate them US$3.5 billion and whether the government would be able to meet its instalment in June.
Ncube said Zimbabwe had hired a firm of advisors based in the United Kingdom to come up with solutions on compensating the farmers but said he could not go into detail at the moment.
Asked whether the government would be in default if it fails to raise the instalment for June, Ncube said it was too early to talk about defaulting.
“We are not yet in breach, so it is still speculation but I do appreciate his forward thinking on this but we are not in breach,” Ncube said responding to Joel Gabbuza.
“Besides, we are dealing with a group of farmers, 4 000 of them, very reasonable men and women who are Zimbabweans and are always ready to engage constructively with Government. I do not think we should be too worried about breaches and other legal issues.”
AGREEMENTS PERTAINING TO THE GLOBAL SETTLEMENT DEED
HON. MARKHAM asked the Minister of Finance and Economic Development to –
- a) bring to the House all agreements pertaining to the Global Settlement Deed (Trust), including the initial agreement signed by the parties, ancillary agreements, addendums and annexures, and those pertaining to funding.
- b) cover in detail how the Ministry intends to raise the money and when payments will be due?
THE MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (HON. PROF. M. NCUBE): The first part of the question refers to agreements on the Global Settlement Deed with farmers and his request that I bring the document to Parliament with all the addendums and so forth. I want to say I will do so Mr. Speaker. The second part of the question is asking how we will raise funding to pay off this debt. As I have explained before, we have hired a firm of advisors, a new state based in the UK who are currently beavering away, coming up with solutions and instruments through which we can then be able to raise relevant resources through the issuance of a corporate instrument. We are working on it.
I cannot at this stage reveal some of the details but we are beavering away at it and in the fullness of time we will be able to announce progress. In many cases, we have to announce this by June because that is the halfway point and we will have to have secured half the amount of the US$3.5 billion.
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