Chin'ono Says The Zimbabwean Debt Clearance Process Could Collapse

9 months agoMon, 09 Oct 2023 12:14:32 GMT
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Chin'ono Says The Zimbabwean Debt Clearance Process Could Collapse

Zimbabwean journalist Hopewell Chin’ono, says there is a potential risk of the Zimbabwean debt clearance process collapsing due to the anger of European Union (EU) leaders in Brussels. He attributed this anger to the continuous attacks against the EU in Zimbabwe’s state media. The strained relationship between Zimbabwe and the EU began after the August 23, 2023, harmonized elections, when ZANU PF launched unwarranted attacks on the EU for criticizing the election process as chaotic.

Zimbabwe has significant debt owed to various international creditors. The debt clearance process is overseen by former Mozambican president Joaquim Chissano and the African Development Bank president, Dr. Akinwumi A. Adesina. Chin’ono said:

My media contacts in Brussels said that this coming week is crucial for Zimbabwe as the EU is more likely to move and end the attempts to reengage with Zimbabwe unless President Mnangagwa moves to save the process. The European Union ambassador to Zimbabwe, Jobst von Kirchmann, who has been more than helpful to the Zimbabwean Government has been left with an upset headquarters in Brussels and an unhelpful ally in Zimbabwe.

Sources in the diplomatic community said that he tried his best to keep Zimbabwe off the pariah list but the Zimbabwean Government has failed to help him by doing the bare minimum to keep the debt clearance process going. How President Mnangagwa reacts and deals with this crisis will determine whether it will stay alive or die this coming week.

China also wanted the debt process to work because it is owed by the Zimbabwean Government. The collapse will mean that Zimbabwe might end up defaulting on all its loans and will not be able to borrow new funds and the economy will further crumble. Americans will feel vindicated if the process collapses, Africans who were working on it will feel betrayed by the Zimbabwean Government, and the EU ambassador will at least say that he tried, but it wasn’t good enough.

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According to DeVere Zimbabwe, one of the world’s leading independent financial consultancy, Zimbabwe’s total public and publicly guaranteed debt stood at $18 billion in December 2022, made up of $12.8 billion in foreign debt and $5.2 billion in domestic debt, as per a debt bulletin published by the treasury.

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