Zimbabwe to repay Malawi debt with fuel

Energy minister Cassim Chilumpha has said Zimbabwe will supply Malawi with fuel worth $23 million as repayment for a loan extended in 2007.

Malawi gave Zimbabwe a soft loan of $100 million in 2007 for buying maize to help deal with critical food shortages worsened by economic sanctions imposed by Western donors.

“The government of Zimbabwe has agreed to give us fuel and very soon they will dispatch trucks,” Chilumpha is quoted by New Zimbabwe online after Malawi official returned from a meeting with their Zimbabwean counterparts to reach an agreement to settle the matter.

Chilumpha: The government of Zimbabwe has agreed to give us fuel

“We have accepted this arrangement because currently, we are in need of the fuel,” Chilumpha said.

Zimbabwe repaid $76 million of the loan but failed repay the balance apparently because the close relationship between Malawi’s late President Bingu wa Mutharika and President Robert Mugabe.

But new Malawi leader, Joyce Banda has been pressing for payment of the balance as her country battles an economic crisis which donors have warned could yet get worse.

Officials said fuel worth $23 million is just short of reaching Malawi’s monthly national requirement of $30 million.

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