Zimbabwe is not among China’s biggest debtors, but China remains one of the biggest sources of funding and investment for Zimbabwe. China’s economic interests in the country are also the subject of strong public debate.
So, just how much does Zimbabwe owe China?
In Parliament on August 24, opposition MP Allan Markham (Harare North) asked Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube to disclose how much Zimbabwe owes China?
Below are excerpts of Ncube’s response:
On how much Zimbabwe owes China
Since 1980, Zimbabwe contracted loans from China amounting to approximately US$2.7 billion. I have a schedule of contracted loans but let me read them through. For example, there is IDC Phase 1 loan which is US$14.6 million which was signed on 8 May 1997. There is IDC Phase 2, US$7 million signed on 19th January, 2000. There is DDF equipment project of US$8.6 billion signed on 23rd February 2001.
All these loans are coming through the China-Exim Bank which is owned by the People’s Republic of China. There is Sinosure, ZISCO Steel facility of US$54.9 million signed on 15th August 2012. There is agriculture equipment loan of US$29.2 million signed on 30th October 2006. There is also an additional agricultural project loan signed on 22nd February 2008 amounting to US$37.6 million.
There is NetOne National Mobile Broadband project loan facility of US$68 million signed on 26th June, 2019. All that we have raised was extended through the China-Exim Bank.
I now turn to the National Defence Phase 2 facility, through the China Development Bank signed in 1985 on 20th July. That was US$6.2 million. Then National Defence Project again Phase 3, through the China Development Bank signed in 1986 on 22nd December, that is US$7.7 million. There is a US$200 million farm mechanisation equipment facility signed on 13th October 2006, through China-Exim Bank.
There is NetOne project as well through China-Exim Bank signed on 1st June 2010, that is US$41.8 million. There is National Defence College facility of US$98.7 million signed on 21 March 2011, through China-Exim Bank. There is the Victoria Falls International Airport facility of US$149.9 million signed on 5th April 2012.
There is NetOne Phase 2 project, through China-Exim Bank signed on 25th August 2014 and that is for US$198.8 million. There is ZPC Kariba South Hydro project of US$390.5 million signed on 11th November, 2013. There is TelOne Backbone network again through China-Exim bank signed on 1st December, 2015. This amounted to US$98.6 million.
There is Harare International Airport facility of US$152.8 million signed on 4th April, 2018, through China-Exim Bank as well. Then Hwange 7 and 8 expansion facility of about a billion, US$997.7 million, signed on 1st December 2015, again through China-Exim Bank. There is Sinosure Medical equipment project of about US$90 million signed on 21st March 2011, through China-Exim Bank.
Finally, the Sinosure City of Harare facility of US$140.8 million signed on 21st March 2011, again through China-Exim Bank. If we add all those numbers, they amount to US$2.722.4 billion.
On outstanding debt to China
Out of the loans that I have mentioned, US$152 million worth of loans have since matured and are fully paid up. I have got a second schedule which shows loans that are fully paid up.
The outstanding debt to China as at August 2022 amounts to US$1.768 billion.
We have IDC Phase 1 amounting to US$14.6 million signed on 8th August 1997, through China-Exim Bank. There is IDC Phase 2 signed on 19th January 2000 amounting to US$7 million, through China-Exim Bank. We have DDF Equipment project of US$8.6 million signed on 23rd February 2001 again from China-Exim Bank. There is Sinosure-M of-ZISCO Steel amounting to US$54.8 million signed on 15th August 2012, from China-Exim Bank.
There is Agriculture-Mechanisation Equipment and Implements Project 1 worth US$29.2 million signed on 13th October 2006 from China-Exim Bank. There is the Equipment and Implements Project 2 worth US$37. 6 million signed on 22nd February 2008 again through China-Exim Bank. The outstanding debt to China stood at US$1.768 billion as at 22 August, 2022.
PREVIOUS COVERAGE OF ZIMBABWE AND CHINA