Botswana comes to the rescue and offers to lend broke Zimbabwe nearly $600 million

Botswana’s President Mokgweetsi Masisi.
  • Botswana has offered to lend cash strapped Zimbabwe nearly $600 million to help ease its economic crisis.
  • The loans will be offered to Zimbabwe’s private sector and the diamond industry
  • The deals are expected to be signed on Thursday during Masisi’s visit to Harare.

After crisscrossing the world with a begging bowl and still returning home with empty handed, President Emmerson Mnangagwa can now afford to breathe easy after diamond-rich Botswana came to his rescue.

Botswana has offered to lend cash strapped Zimbabwe nearly $600 million (Sh60 billion) to help ease its economic crisis, Harare’s state-owned daily The Herald reported on Tuesday.

The loans will be offered to Zimbabwe’s private sector and the diamond industry, said the report.

Zimbabwe’s secretary for foreign affairs, James Manzou, unveiled the offer ahead of a visit to Harare by Botswana’s President Mokgweetsi Masisi.

Zimbabwe welcomes with much appreciation that Botswana proposed a 1-billion Botswana pula ($94.5m) credit facility, in support of the Zimbabwe private sector,” Manzou told the newspaper.

The foreign affairs minister said the loans would go a long way to “support our economic recovery”.

“Zimbabwe is also appreciative of the $500m diamond facility offered to it by Botswana,” he said.

The deals are expected to be signed on Thursday during Masisi’s visit to Harare.

The report however, did not give details about the loan, such as the repayment schedule and interest rate.

Zimbabwe, which was Africa’s once bread basket, descended into economic ruin during the 37-year rule of former President Robert Mugabe and has since became a basket case.

Mr. Mugabe was forced to resign last year after he was toppled by the army.

His successor Emmerson Mnangagwa has so far failed to solve the crisis, with the country running desperately short of foreign currency.

President Mnangagwa kicked off the new year by travelling to Russia, Belarus, Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan in an effort to raise investment for his economically blighted nation.

He sought and failed to get a loan from Russia, Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan, before returning home.

A request for $1.2bn in emergency credit from SA also failed after Pretoria indicated it did not have the funds.

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