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Zimbabwe’s Debt Burden Rises To US$18 Billion

A Harare businesswoman, Linds Balpai, who is a director at Lee Capital (Pvt) Ltd, a real estate company, has lost $8 million in a forex exchange deal

Zimbabwe’s consolidated debt now stands at a staggering US$18 billion, with a substantial portion owed to international creditors which include institutions like the World Bank, International Monetary Fund (IMF), and bilateral partners, including China.

Domestic public debt has also risen due to non-payment of government-guaranteed debt by private beneficiaries.

The country’s debt burden poses significant threats to national development and access to global financial markets.

Addressing lawmakers in parliament on Wednesday, Minister of Finance, Economic Development and lnvestment Promotion Deputy Minister, David Mnangagwa said the country’s debt was still undergoing validation and reconciliation. Said Mnangagwa (via ZimLive):

Our debt figures are still going through some validation and reconciliation.

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There has been US$1.9 billion recapitalisation of the Mutapa Fund and an additional US$1.2 billion that was assumed from the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ).

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These would still need to be reconciled and validated before they are entered into the debt profile. That process is still underway.

Mnangagwa also said the debt reported to the African Development Bank in April stood at US$2.7 billion, higher than the approved budget for this year.

The government’s efforts to address the debt crisis are being hindered by the lack of clarity on how the funds were used.

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Zimbabwe’s appeal for debt forgiveness and penalty waivers has so far been unsuccessful.

The United States stopped participating in a critical debt restructuring programme in January citing human rights abuses, lack of electoral reforms and crackdown on opposition politicians.

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