Zimbabwe's bank balance stands at $217

2013-01-29 22:01

Harare - After paying public workers' salaries last week, the balance in cash-strapped Zimbabwe's government public account stood at just $217, Finance Minister Tendai Biti said on Tuesday.

"Last week when we paid civil servants there was $217 [left] in government coffers," Biti told journalists in the capital Harare, claiming some of them had healthier bank balances than the state.

"The government finances are in paralysis state at the present moment. We are failing to meet our targets."

Zimbabwe's economy went into free-fall at the turn of the millennium, after President Robert Mugabe began seizing white-owned farms.

The move demolished investor confidence in the country, paralysed production, prompted international sanctions and scared off tourists.

After more than a decade - in which the country suffered hyper-inflation of 231 million percent and infrastructure that crumbled as quickly as prices went up - the situation is now more stable.

But public finances remain a mess and local business battles against unstable electricity supplies, lack of liquidity and high labour costs.

Zimbabwe's government has warned it does not have enough money to fund a constitutional referendum and elections expected this year.

Biti said that left no choice but to ask the donors for cash.

"We will be approaching the international community," he said.

The country's elections agency said it requires $104m to organise the vote.

Government's national budget for this year stands at $3.8bn and the economy is projected to grow 5%.

The mineral rich country is now using the US dollar and the South African rand.

  • kyle.johnston.7146 - 2013-01-29 22:41

    Before anyone bails them out they first need to get rid of that fool in power. Seize all his assets and sell them off then come talk to the international community. Before then no-one should give a hand.

      adinparadise - 2013-01-30 01:15

      I'm sure the international community would happily give them enough to bankroll the elections, as long as they were allowed to organise the event, totally free and fair. Trouble is, Bob wants the money with no strings attached so that he can intimidate the voters and cook the books again.

      emphatic.darksorrow - 2013-01-30 07:14

      Im pretty sure he can be tried for crimes against humanity......

      denise.ryan.5203 - 2013-01-31 21:38

      How many people can say they're richer than a country? Well, I can! Zimbabwe only has $217 left in their public account. Ah shame! They don't even think they can hold elections later this year because they just don't have any money....but, the good news is that you can help as they're asking the international community for money! Gee, I wish I could Zimbabwe, but I'm in the process of um, consolidating my finances, so sorry, maybe next time. However, why don't you just ask Mad Bob to help you out? He's got, what, 12 (stolen) liberated farms that he could sell? I'm sure he'll get some money for them, but perhaps don't count on it. Or, how about the billions in his Swiss bank accounts? Surely he'd be willing to return some of that squirreled away money to the country he (stole) liberated it from? Or how about he sell one of his many mansions he jets between? Or his sea-side properties in South Africa? See, you really don't need the colonial imperialists to bail you out - you just need to scratch around in the Zimbabwe politicians bank accounts and you'd have enough money to run the country for years! As for the international community? They're all trying to steal from their citizens to fund their welfare states and multi-cultural utopias, so sorry, we're all out of money to deal with your self-inflicted problems too. We'll pray for you though.

  • Gert van Coller - 2013-01-29 22:55

    What did they expect? Or does cause and effect seize to exist over there. Don't worry Bob! The chinese will bail you out. You just have to sign away your country. What's left of it anyway. Then you can go and buy a few Happy Meals at McDonalds with the $217.

  • Dumblabrat - 2013-01-29 23:06

    231% inflation!,, damn that has to be a world record! Well done to Uncle Bob and his cronies

      heinrich.etsebeth - 2013-01-30 07:05

      Those six zeroes makes all the difference ;)

  • vernon12345 - 2013-01-30 00:06

    The ANC are wanting to do this to our beautiful country.

      renny.meere - 2013-01-30 06:52

      Not wanting but are busy doing it.

  • drcpot - 2013-01-30 00:28

    No donors please please, if you keep voting Mugabe, you have to learn the hard way. If you want it the African way, stop asking for western help!!!! And that goes for ANC and its supporters. End of story!!!

  • Watkykj - 2013-01-30 00:49


  • tommo.too - 2013-01-30 00:50

    Oh Lord they are in biiiiiig trouble

  • dtangocci - 2013-01-30 01:03

    Don't worry Zimbabwe. The SA taxpayer will replenish your coffers. No need to pay us back either.

  • precious.yumyum - 2013-01-30 04:28

    I thought indegenisation/nationalisation was supposed to bring money to the state purse. But then again, all African leaders see state purse as their own to use for personal stuff. How can Zim have all those minerals and agricultural products but be broke? Just R1900 in their bank account? What does the AU say about this failed state? I know that South Africa is planning to sell arms to Mugabe just before elections. Obviously, they still want the old dinossaur to reman in power. Trust me, we are our own enemies and not the West or the East.

  • stephen.king.900 - 2013-01-30 04:51

    Is that american dollars or zim dollars. If the people of this country dont wake up and get rid of the corrupt thieves who run our country, let me rephrase that, ruin our country we will go the same way

  • zolisa.dlokovu - 2013-01-30 05:18

    At least Robert Mugabe is paying for education of the african child. Zimbambeans are attending classes in various tertiary institutions in South Africa. Our govt has a lot of money but we ' buy' our tertiary education .

      NangiLum - 2013-01-30 06:33

      Where does the NSFAS money come from? Google it

  • zolisa.dlokovu - 2013-01-30 05:19

    At least Robert Mugabe is paying for education of the african child. Zimbambeans are attending classes in various tertiary institutions in South Africa and Mugabe's govt is paying. Our govt has a lot of money but we ' buy' our tertiary education .

  • gerasimos - 2013-01-30 05:24

    @prot-I suggest you take your blinkers off and try and try and understand what I am saying. The USA is even more bankrupt than Zimbabawe, as is most of Europe. Zimbabwe is a Sunday school picnic compared to the mountains of debt facing western democracies. The day of reckoning will come and there will be a global collapse and perhaps least affected will be counties like Zim because they have already collapsed and learnt to live on the breadline for the last 15 years. If you think Zim is in a poor state wait for the US to implode. They are already dead in the water. Visit Max Keiser's site or download the pdf book "when Money Dies" and see whats in store for the world. Governments around the world and their "bankster" friends have raped their taxpayers and their citizens. This is what happened in Greece et al and Zim is just a drop in the ocean. Nonetheless I agree as well that Zim is the perfect example of a failed African state, it is the epitome of African political stupidity and SA is headed the same way. the only difference between the US and Zim is that Zim (just like Greece) is not allowed or able to print dollars. That is the the domain of the US Fed and that is the only way the US can stay afloat ie. by printing paper money. Imagine you could pay off your debts by photo-stating R200 notes! What is the real value of those copies? At the moment the US government tells us what its value is by decree but what happens when we all find out it is a worthless piece of paper?

      Jason Lok - 2013-01-30 06:12

      @ Gerasimos--U r 100% correct the only asset the United snakes hav is to print dollars an the Burger. They r so deep into debt, that cannot pay the interest. Just like how the Satans imploded the twin towers n so is it gonna happen to that country. Ther illegal wars n oppression of innocent ppl, they manage to earn the hatred an curses of millions of ppl around the world

  • shadrachanthea.govenderstrydom - 2013-01-30 05:38

    I am richer than zim:o)

  • Sibusiso - 2013-01-30 05:41

    Which bank are they talking about ?Biti is a well known rabble-rouser .Zimbabwe is coming back and as we speak right now ,it is the only country that trully rules itself here in Afrika .No outside interference.

      fairness.iseverything - 2013-01-30 06:20

      Zimbabwe is comming back where Sibu. Back West? Wake up or shut up-K! Zimbabwe has just become another African country that relies on SA to keep its people alive. If you call that ruling then your more stupid then I firts thought. Eish

      Michael Kleber - 2013-01-30 06:26

      And they are doing such a good job , their farmers are producing an abundance of food , unemployment does not exist , investors are queuing to get in , the success story of Africa . All the zim refugees in SA are just a figment of our imagination as well .

      talana.malherbe - 2013-01-30 06:45

      Sibusiso can you read??? They are practically bankrupt! This money they have is very little to run any country. They are going to ask other countries for money, no outside interference my @ss!

      J.Stephen.Whiteley - 2013-01-30 07:11

      But his country IS owned by foreigners - lock, stock and barrel.

      siyaz.mcitakali.3 - 2013-01-30 14:21

      Zimbabwe coming back my ass. Zimbabweans need to get rid of that old man,how can people with $217 be coming back ? That's just being dumb and ignorant

  • mulis.muli - 2013-01-30 05:45

    haibo!i am richer than zim

  • godfrey.mushwana - 2013-01-30 05:48


  • Muffin_man_can - 2013-01-30 05:54

    Let this be a lesson to those idiots screaming nationalization and economical freedom all the time.. This is where you will end up instead.

  • IMPAYAS - 2013-01-30 05:56


  • cecil.wright.142 - 2013-01-30 06:02

    Typical. Why ask donors for money , why not go straight to the source of their problems ( Mugabe ) and ask him to give back some of the money he stole

  • Asdiedamwalbars - 2013-01-30 06:11

    What is so strange about that...their cows milk is they want to milk South Africa and other neighbouring countries dry like parasites...and our fools fall for that.

  • - 2013-01-30 06:27

    Not to be scoffed at: The national treasure.

  • mccombero - 2013-01-30 06:28

    Uncle Bob has made his money

  • mordikaai.speak - 2013-01-30 06:31

    Ignorance is bliss you are all singing Zimbabwe's praises why then must those that are more bankrupt give handout?

  • Theuns Jacobs - 2013-01-30 06:31

    maybe bob can use some of his own money in his swiss accounts. or better ask for zuma for a loan. you will get it promise, cause bob is one of his cronies

  • Ren - 2013-01-30 06:33

    Yeah what happened to nationalizing, wish the white man is gone and productivity is gone with it!! Surprise surprise!!! Doesn't Africa learn no it's keeps tripping on a log getting up turning around and tripping over the same log again!!

  • bee.deekay - 2013-01-30 06:36

    States like Zimbabwe don't need money anymore. Shells, pebbles and shiny things are all that's required. They hunt, barter and gather food like in the good old days thousands of years ago. People should go there and see what ancestors lived like in the stone age. Should be an eye opener and very interesting.

  • will.oosthuizen - 2013-01-30 06:46

    Reaping the harvest of corruption and anti-west sentiment from Mugabe's policies. I'm sure he'll be on a flight to Beijing soon to beg the Chinese for money!

  • mario.v.calcagni - 2013-01-30 06:47

    Not bad at least they are solvent

  • janti.cloete - 2013-01-30 06:49

    "We will be approaching the international community," he said. Didn't the international community already pour billions in Zim....??

  • walter.o.latham - 2013-01-30 06:56

    I doubt whether Semonatenate actually meant he would advocate "unifying African countries!" If Zuma and this government keeps on spending billions for palatial homes, motor vehicles and, above all, corruption; then it won't be too long before this country is in a similar downward spiral as Zimbabwe. People BEWARE and vote in a new, uncorrupted party before it's too late...... VIVA DA!

  • gwvickers - 2013-01-30 07:00

    And Mugabe's bank balance stands at...wait for it.......$217 000 0 00

      heinrich.etsebeth - 2013-01-30 07:16

      Add another couple of zeroes there and you might be closer to the truth.

      khethu.ndlovu.3 - 2013-01-30 08:02

      That is a gross under estimation, you migth be imprisoned for that.

      khethu.ndlovu.3 - 2013-01-30 08:03

      That is a gross under estimation, you migth be imprisoned for that.

  • nico.ratsela - 2013-01-30 07:08

    The people of Zimbabwe had suffered enough and the thing is that no one can challenge Mugabe their opposition party is useless

  • nico.eksteen.7 - 2013-01-30 07:09

    So after chasing the white man off their farms and out of the country they are now begging at the white man's door to help them out. F that, let them suffer.

  • mbele.andile - 2013-01-30 07:10

    So the mugabe and his cronies want to use this as an excuse 2 delay the constitutional referendum and elections thus further tightening their grip on power......sis!

  • mbele.andile - 2013-01-30 07:10

    So the mugabe and his cronies want to use this as an excuse 2 delay the constitutional referendum and elections thus further tightening their grip on power......sis!

  • mbele.andile - 2013-01-30 07:10

    So the mugabe and his cronies want to use this as an excuse 2 delay the constitutional referendum and elections thus further tightening their grip on power......sis!

  • wayne.faulds - 2013-01-30 07:15

    Nationalise Mugabe's assets. That should add substantially to the national bank balance. He is purported to be the "Father of the Nation" after all.

  • matthias.kempgen - 2013-01-30 07:16

    If you convert that into Zim Dollars that is alot of cash..... wahahahahahaha

  • KCorsar - 2013-01-30 07:22

    Yet conservative estimates indicate that over USD2bn floats around Zimbabwe in the informal sector, who no longer trust banks - cash is king. A crisp $1 bill is revered..........

  • richard.scully2 - 2013-01-30 07:25

    Don't worry about the election, it's always a sham anyway, no need for more cash

  • richard.scully2 - 2013-01-30 07:26

    How they gonna pay for the fuel for the helicopters Zuma is giving them?

  • danie.theron.925 - 2013-01-30 07:38

    Don't be alarmed Biti,I'm almost certain Zuma will send some Rands your way with courtesy of the white tax payers of SA.I know you hate the colonials but O don't you just love their money! I hear that food is also very scares, but no problem, SA and the UN will supply some maize grown by the white colonial farmers.

      khethu.ndlovu.3 - 2013-01-30 07:55

      Now you talking like a true white colonialist, white tax? How will the president be able to only select white tax from black tax? You tell me

      danie.theron.925 - 2013-01-30 08:49

      Thank you for the compliment.Yes the majority of tax payers in SA are white colonists and I'm just stating that the colonial hater Mugabe would gladly accept their money.Why didn't you say anything about all the white farmers that feeds half of Africa?

  • lisa.evansdominick - 2013-01-30 07:38

    Mugabe has a few billion stashed away... he could make a substantial donation. Payback time, it is all money he has stolen

  • impi.masondo - 2013-01-30 07:38

    the colonists must explain what happend

  • Anton Dekker - 2013-01-30 07:39

    I really have to reassess my status in life. I have currently more money in my bank account than Zimbabwe. Not anyone can say you are officially richer than an entire country! Move over Warren Buffet and Bill Gates! Ha! Ha! Ha!

  • MarkH - 2013-01-30 07:43

    And Mugabe's bank balance stands at.............?

  • Robert Frankol - 2013-01-30 08:01

    haaaa ha ha ha ha ubbets will remain ubbets...

  • danie.gerber2 - 2013-01-30 08:09

    International community = South problem we will support our neighbours - its our obligation to do the right thing.

  • sabelo.sabza.54390 - 2013-01-30 08:11

    yo zimbabwe hv $217