FILE PHOTO: People walk past the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe building in Harare
HARARE - Zimbabwe has since last year secured loans amounting to $985million from foreign lenders to prop up its ailing economy, Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Governor John Mangudya said Monday. 

He told the parliamentary committee on public accounts that the bulk of the loan amount was from Afreximbank which advanced 641 million dollars to the country. 

The Trade and Development Bank chipped in with $152 million dollars while the Central Bank of Mozambique advanced 25 million dollars. 

Other lenders include the African Development Bank and the South African Minting Company. Mangudya said the tenure of the loan facilities ranged from three to five years, adding that the loan facilities had helped the central bank continue running the economy amid acute foreign currency shortages. 

However, the governor was put to task by chair of the committee Tendai Biti who accused the central bank of securing the foreign loans without getting approval from Parliament as is required by law. 

Mangudya argued that the bank was guided by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Act in securing the loans, as well as a ministerial consent from the finance minister Mthuli Ncube. 

The borrowings were also in the national interest, Mangudya said. Last week, the Botswana government announced that it had agreed to extend a $95 million credit line to Zimbabwe to support the private sector.

XINHUA