Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe needs $14bn to revive economy

2012-03-22 09:05

Special Report

Zim cops: Gas cylinder, not tear gas behind stampede
Zim cops: Gas cylinder, not tear gas behind stampede

Police in Zimbabwe claim an explosion from a gas cylinder belonging to a vendor of fresh French fries caused a stampede at a church rally that left 11 dead, a report says.

Harare - Zimbabwe needs at least $14bn to revive its economy following a decade-long downturn, Finance Minister Tendai Biti said on Wednesday.

"We require $14bn to get our economy back to 1990 levels," Biti told a seminar organised by the government and Euromoney conferences to try to lure foreign investment to the country.

"We have a foreign debt of $9.1bn. We have defaulted as far back as 1999."

Zimbabwe's economy is showing signs of recovery since the formation of a power-sharing government three years ago by long-time political rivals President Robert Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai.

Tsvangirai has attacked the government's implementation of the controversial indigenisation policy, forcing foreign firms to surrender 51% of their shares to local people, saying it would discourage investors.

Platinum miner Zimplats, a Zimbabwe division of Impala Paltinum, the world's second-biggest platinum producer submitted its compliance plan last week.

Biti said he was angered by the manner in which authorities were implementing the law.

"The challenge is the way we are doing it and it makes me very angry," Biti said adding that "a law must be consistent and non arbitrary".

The government has vowed to nationalise companies which fail to comply with the equity law and which Mugabe said was meant to benefit blacks disadvantaged by colonial laws.

Biti warned last week that a short fall on new diamond sales from the controversial Marange fields, the country's major source of revenue could force the government to shut down.

Zimbabwe anticipated $77.5m from diamond sales during the first two months of the year, but received only $19.5m, Biti said, attributing the shortfall to the fact that there had not been any diamond auction since the beginning of the year.

- AFP

Read more on:    robert mugabe  |  tendai biti  |  morgan tsvangirai  |  zimbabwe  |  southern africa
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