Govt works on AirZim debt takeover

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Business - Love­more Zi­gara Mid­lands Bureau

GOVERN­MENT is fi­nal­is­ing the process to take over the $334 mil­lion Air Zim­babwe debt paving way for the na­tional air­line to court new in­vestors, a Cabi­net Min­is­ter has said.

In July, Cabi­net ap­proved the as­sump­tion of over $1 bil­lion worth of debts of some State en­ter­prises in­clud­ing Air Zim­babwe and Zisco.

The move is part of ac­cel­er­ated ef­forts to make them at­trac­tive to po­ten­tial suit­ors.

Trans­port and In­fras­truc­tural De­vel­op­ment Min­is­ter Dr Jo­ram Gumbo said Air Zim­babwe would only start look­ing for new in­vestors once its debt has been liq­ui­dated.

“Govern­ment as­sumed the Air Zim­babwe debt so that the na­tional air­liner could start on a clean slate.

“What we are now wait­ing for is the fi­nal­i­sa­tion by Trea­sury for the takeover of the debt be­fore we can go on the mar­ket to look for an in­vestor to re­cap­i­talise the busi­ness.

“Once that is done it will be eas­ier for Air Zim­babwe to find a part­ner,” he said.

Last year the Govern­ment en­gaged five in­ter­na­tional car­ri­ers from Kenya, Ethiopia, Sin­ga­pore, Turkey and Malaysia to part­ner Air Zim­babwe with hopes of turn­ing around the for­tunes of the flag car­rier.

Govern­ment is de­ter­mined to turn­around the for­tunes of paras­tatals, es­pe­cially those that have im­me­di­ate im­pact to the eco­nomic turn­around.

How­ever, the hunt for in­vestors and tech­ni­cal part­ners for some of the tar­geted paras­tatals has con­tin­ued at a snail’s pace given that the com­pa­nies are sad­dled with huge debts over­hang.

In his an­nual bud­get re­view and out­look for 2017 state­ment in July, Fi­nance and Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment Min­is­ter Pa­trick Chi­na­masa said the as­sump­tion of paras­tatal debts would con­tinue on a case by case ba­sis. — @lavuzi­gara1.

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