HARARE – Zimbabwe plans to float a $100- million bond to rebuild its dilapidated infrastructure as the country struggles to attract foreign investment, the finance minister said on Wednesday.
Zimbabwe’s infrastructure, such as its roads, railways, dams and power plants, has been starved of finance due to a decade of economic collapse, which eased somewhat with the formation of a power-sharing government in 2009.
"Very soon we are going to issue a $100-million infrastructure bond through our financial institutions," Finance Minister Tendai Biti told an investor conference in Harare. He give no further details.
Zimbabwe has been using the US dollar since 2009 when the country abandoned the Zimbabwean dollar after inflation reached 500- billion percent.
A coalition government formed between political rivals President Robert Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has managed to stabilise the economy but the country faces a cash crunch as investors stay on the sidelines.
Biti, who is a member of Tsvangirai’s opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), said last week the government faced a shutdown because projected revenue from the diamond industry had failed to come through.
Investors have been unnerved by the government’s drive to force foreign-owned mining companies to surrender majority stakes to blacks under an economic empowerment programme.
At the conference, Biti sought to allay investor fears, saying the government did not plan to expropriate shares and he urged companies to look at Zimbabwe as long-term investment destination.