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Mugabe’s govt requests loan from SD

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By WELCOME DLAMINI - SWAZI TIMES -15-Aug-2009

LOBAMBA – Zimbabwe, under the leadership of President Robert Mugabe, forwarded a loan application to the Kingdom of Swaziland.

This loan is meant to help the crisis-hit country deal with the many financial challenges it encountered as a result of the political turmoil that has charac-terised the once flourishing Southern African state.

The financial assistance was tabled by Zimbabwe’s Finance Minister Tendai Biti to his local counterpart, Majozi Sithole. Biti, according to the Ministry of Finance’s first quarterly report, tabled a figure of $30 million, (E240 million) which he believed would be sufficient to address the financial problems faced by the country.

The E240 million was not entirely expected to come from Swaziland, but embodied Zim-babwe’s financial needs. During the meeting with Sithole, Biti handed over a document containing a detailed financial plan for Zimbabwe called STERP, which covers a wide range of sectors. Minister Sithole, responding to appointed MP Mandla Dla-mini’s question yesterday on how Swaziland could afford to give Zimbabwe money when the kingdom was faced with its own challenges, said Swaziland had made an undertaking to help Mugabe’s government despite the existing financial shortfalls.

Deficits

“The decision to assist Zimbabwe was taken here in Swaziland and the other countries that were part of the meeting and have worse budget deficits reaching as high as 15 per cent also promised to assist,” Sithole said. The minister said they had already forwarded to Cabinet the means through which Swazi-land could finance Zimbabwe, such as offering the country a credit facility. When meeting with Sithole, Biti emphasised that his main problem was cash flow to enable him to meet day-to-day financing requirements.


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