The Zimbabwean government is re-engaging Norange Capital Markets of South Africa regarding a possible line of credit despite having earlier backed away from such a deal, official sources in Harare said Wednesday.
Sources said senior officials including Finance Ministry Permanent Secretary Willard Manungo have asked Norange to undergo fresh security checks with security consultants who will vet the company thoroughly in particular regarding its funding sources. The sources said Interpol was among the resources that would be tapped in due diligence.
The sources said officials of the ruling African National Congress of South Africa have vouched for Norange, which encouraged Harare to take a second look at the possible financing source.
Neither Manungo nor Finance Minister Tendai Biti could be reached for comment.
The company recently offered to set up a US$50 billion line of credit to Harare, but discussions were derailed by concerns, never substantiated, that Norange was engaged in money laundering and had Russian mafia links.
Those allegations were dismissed by Norange Chief Executive Officer Hendrie Hattingh.
Hattingh told VOA Studio 7 reporter Gibbs Dube that his firm has started submitting financial information to the country’s consultants carrying out due diligence in South Africa following the shift of position in Harare. “We hope to complete these security processes within the next few weeks,” Hattingh said.