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Zimbabwe Policy Inconsistencies Stalling Sale of RBZ's Homelink

Business strategists and economic commentators say the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe’s Homelink (Pvt) Limited has failed to attract buyers since June last year due to fears over the lop-sided black economic empowerment program and the country’s serious liquidity constraints.

They said the central bank’s latest decision to invite fresh bids for the disposal of its 100 percent shares in Homelink, is an indication that the company had no takers.

They further said no proper valuations were done before Homelink was put on sale. The company, set up in 2004 to facilitate property development and investment for Zimbabweans in the diaspora, is believed to be worth $5 million.

The RBZ said in a statement Saturday that preference will be given to bidders that offer competitive prices. The bank is selling its non-core businesses in order to raise funds to settle a $1.2 billion debt.

It is also disposing of shares in Tractive Power Holdings, Tuli Coal, Cairns Holdings, Sirtech (Pvt) Ltd, Transload (Pvt) Ltd, Carslone Enterprises and Astra holdings.

Business strategist Phillip Chichoni said the central bank will end up selling Homelink assets at low prices if it fails to attract any buyers.

“This company appears to be worthless as its services are no longer in high demand since Zimbabwe is now using the U.S. dollar,” Chichoni said.

Economic commentator Masimba Kuchera concurred adding that investors are being discouraged from buying shares in companies like Homelink due to the unity government’s policy inconsistencies.

The RBZ has hired KM Financial Solutions to oversee the sale of the business entity.