ZIMBABWE secured US$200 million to back its controversial bond notes from the Afreximbank in April this year, a month prior to central bank governor John Mangudya’s announcement the country was to introduce bond notes, the Zimbabwe Independent has learnt.
By Taurai Mangudhla
According to information at hand, the US$200 million Afreximbank counter-cyclical export support facility was made available to Zimbabwe through agreements signed between the central bank and Afreximbank on April 6 as a standby facility.
The facility carries a commitment fee of 1% which translates to US$2 million and 5,5% interest per annum.
“If drawn down to support the exports then the interest rate of 5,5% per annum is applicable and the facility is for 36 months,” a source privy to the information said.
The conditions of the loan are similar to two other facilities that the central bank secured from Afreximbank in respect of a US$150 million bailout to Zesa and another US$200 million to stabilise the banking sector. The term sheets however remain shrouded in secrecy.
The US$200 million is under the Afreximbank Trade Debt-Backed Securities (Aftrades) which was launched in March 2015 with an initial US$100 million to improve liquidity in the banking sector.
Last week, central bank governor John Mangudya told a business breakfast meeting in Harare a group of lawyers had visited his office and seen term sheets for the Afreximbank facility. Further inquiries from sources in the central bank indicate Harare law firm Honey & Blackenberg (H&B) visited Mangudya’s offices in recent weeks to see the term sheets.
H&B staffer Rob Green who is responsible for human resources could neither confirm nor deny the claims.
“I am not authorised to dish out any information,” Green said on Wednesday.
Afreximbank late 2015 also extended US$150 million to Zesa’s subsidiary Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company to settle its outstanding debts which at the time stood at about US$374 million.