26 Feb 2019
A state-owned newspaper reported Botswana has offered to loan Zimbabwe $600 million to support its diamond industry and local private firms.
The loan agreement is set to be signed by Zimbabwe’s President Emmerson Mnangagwa and Botswana’s President Mokgweetsi Masisi in Harare on Thursday, according to James Manzou, Zimbabwe’s secretary for foreign affairs.
The Herald newspaper revealed that the loan will be split up by devoting $500 million dollars to Zimbabwe’s diamond industry and another $100 million to aid private companies that had been affected by the dollar shortage.
“Zimbabwe is also appreciative of the $500 million diamond facility offered to it by Botswana,” Manzou said.
Ever since the Zimbabwean government banished private companies from the eastern Marange fields in early 2016 due to their refusal to merge under the state-owned mining company, Zimbabwe’s diamond sector has faced troubles.
Last month, South Africa turned down Zimbabwe’s request for a $1.2 billion loan.
Reuters reports that Manzou did not provide additional details on the diamond loan.