RBZ vows to meet September deadline for paying international debt

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Business Reporter

RESERVE Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) governor John Mangudya says the country will meet its self-committed September deadline for clearing international debt.

Mangudya said the deadline was a priority, it being the country’s primary gateway to fresh international capital targeted for end of this year.

According to Reuters news agency, the affirmation was made as Zimbabwean officials met with investors in New York in search for cash to clear about $1, 8 billion the country owes to the World Bank and the African Development Bank.

“We need to clear the ADB and World Bank before we’re able to go into a program with the IMF. What we need is a bridge financing from the likes of these investors,” said Mangudya addressing media after the investors’ meeting.

While saying that the deadline maybe feasible, head of fixed income at Exotix Capital Dean Tyler admitted that the task was a demanding one requiring sterling effort to achieve in such short time.

“(The timeline for the arrears payment and the added funding) it is possible, but it would be very fast-tracked,” said Tyler whose company hosted the meeting which was attended by 40 to 50 international investors, institutions and hedge funds.

The event follows a similar meeting in London last month.

In 2016, Zimbabwe paid off 15 years’ worth of arrears to the International Monetary Fund said the new agency.

The new government of president Emmerson Mnangagwa has been trying to unlock the country’s economic growth after 37 years of poor governance and corruption.

Unlike his predecessor Robert Mugabe who looked East after relations soured with the West, Mnangagwa has been seeking re-admission into the international community decades after alienation owing to human rights abuses and property rights violations.