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Zimbabwean Business Chafes at Slow Rollout of Afreximbank Loan Facility

  • Gibbs Dube

The Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce, the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries and small business representatives said banks administering the loan facility have not adequately responded to questions about the slow implementation

Zimbabwean business leaders have expressed concern over the failure by local banks to disburse US$70 million in loans under the Zimbabwe Economic and Trade Revival Facility set up by the government and the African Export-Import Bank.

The Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce, the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries and small business representatives said banks administering the loan facility have not adequately responded to questions about the slow implementation.

ZNCC President Trust Chikohora said business people who applied for loans expected to start receiving funds soon after the facility was set up last August.

Chikohora said his understanding is that banks are working on legal documents that will ensure businesses receiving commercial credits will pay back the loans. VOA was not able to confirm this explanation with the Bankers Association of Zimbabwe.

Chikohora said some applicants are panicking for fear the delay in disbursing the money could be fatal to their firms. “We need loans urgently so that businesses do not shut down due to lack of capital,” the Chamber of Commerce chief said.

Businessman and Mzilikazi Senator Matson Hlalo commented it is unfortunate that such credit facilities always benefit the same companies based in Harare.

The African Export-Import Bank contributed US$50 million towards the credit facility while the Harare government pledged US$20 million. Inflows of foreign direct investment have been scant since the national unity government was launched in February 2009, due to political instability and the indigenization program Harare has been pursuing.

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