Home » Government » ZIMBABWE ISSUES 103 MLN USD BONDS TO ADDRESS CENTRAL BANK’S DEBTS

HARARE, April 9– The Zimbabwe government has issued Treasury Bills worth 103 million US dollars as it takes steps to address the 1.35 billion USD debt that the central bank owes its creditors, says the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, Willard Manungo.

The Cabinet had at the end of March approved the RBZ Debt Assumption Bill which allows the government to assume the central bank’s debt and leave the Reserve Bank of Zimbabawe (RBZ) obligation free as part of efforts to revive its influential role in the economy, Manungo told the Parliamentary Committee on Finance and Economic Development here Monday.

“So far, the government has issued Treasury Bills worth 103 million USD to try and deal with the debt,” Manungo told the Committee, which is chaired by Mutoko South member of Parliament David Chapfika.

He said the Zimbabwe Debt Management Office was still validating the debt, which the central bank owes to various institutions.

“We hope that during the first half of the year we should have completed the validation exercise,” he added. “As we validate some of the balances, we will be issuing additional paper to extinguish the debt.”

He said 92.9 million USD of the Treasury Bills covered the central bank’s dues to financial institutions while 10 million USD were for tobacco foreign currency account holders.

The central bank’s 1.35 billion USD debt included funds owed to gold producers, said Manungo, who added that the Debt Assumption Bill would soon be tabled in Parliament for approval.

He said all efforts to address the RBZ’s debt were aimed at restoring the central bank’s role as lender of last resort as well as government banker.

CBZ Bank Limited, Zimbabwe’s largest financial services institution, had in the last five years played the role of government banker but Manungo said administrative work to restore the function to the central bank was at an advanced stage.

SOURCE: NEW ZIANA

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