By Alex Bell
SW Radio Africa
22 May 2014
Brazil’s Ambassador to Zimbabwe has said that her country will not give ‘hand outs’ to the ZANU PF government, saying the ‘rich’ nation needs investment not donations.
Marcia Maro Da Silva was quoted by the Daily News newspaper as saying that Brazil will not fund ZANU PF’s ZimAsset economy blueprint, and instead challenged the government to clarify its indigenisation laws to encourage foreign investment.
“As a rule, Brazil does not give any support to sovereign nations and we don’t give out hand-outs either. Usually, we find synergies and business opportunities where we can work with people on various projects,” Da Silva said.
“Zimbabwe is a rich country and does not need donations but investments. ZimAsset offers opportunities for Brazil to come and invest in infrastructure and other sectors but there is need for clarity on the country’s economic policies,” added Silva.
ZANU PF has been trying to get international funding to the tune of $27 billion for its ZimAsset plan, which is supposed to guide economic development programmes until December 2018. But the country’s record of failing to honour its significant economic debts has seen it struggle to get any form of financial commitment.
Even China, which ZANU PF originally said would be the major financier of the economic plan, has recently said its funding is not guaranteed. The outgoing Chinese Ambassador said his country wanted to secure the rights to Zimbabwe’s minerals resources, in exchange for a ZimAsset loan
Economic analyst Masimba Kuchera told SW Radio Africa that Brazil’s message to Zimbabwe goes against the usual tone set by other diplomats.
“They are going against the tone of trying to play nice. The message is that Zimbabwe must try and make use of its resources,” Kuchera said.
He added that the nation’s wealth of resources would help kick start economic change, if it was properly harnessed
“It would go a long way, because there are a lot of leakages say in the mining sector. There are issues of corruption and bribery, mismanagement and negligence,” Kuchera said.
He added: “If we were to harness our resources properly, it would offer Zimbabwe a lot of disposable liquidity, which could be used to finance the manufacturing sector, which could be used to create exportable goods. It’s this chain of production that needs to be created. But we don’t have a reliable financing model to achieve this,” Kuchera said.
Meanwhile, despite Brazil saying it will not give ZANU PF money for ZimAsset, the Ambassador has said that $100 million will be loaned to the country for agricultural development.
Da Silva said the money will be disbursed in tranches, and the first tranche of $38 million is expected to be released in the next three months.
“The rest of the facility will be internalised in Zimbabwe within one and half years,” she said, adding that the facility was mainly targeted at empowering small scale farmers.