Zanu PF gets help from Ncube's MPs over controversial Chinese cash

The House of Assembly has approved for ratification three deals worth US$271 million with Exim Bank of China, a development that will see the expansion of Victoria Falls Airport and the rehabilitation of Harare’s water and sewage treatment projects.

The US$271 million loan facility sailed through the Parliament with minimal objections and it now awaits Senate’s approval.

The three loan deals which were presented before the lower house by Acting Minister of Finance Gorden Moyo for debate are the US$180 million earmarked for the expansion of the Victoria Falls Airport ahead of the 2013 UNWTO General Assembly, the US$1,2 million for the rehabilitation of Harare’s water and sewage treatment projects and the US$89,8 million for medical equipment and supplies in the health sector.

“The ratification by this house is critical as the deals are aimed at enhancing national development and I propose that they be ratified without debate. Monies will be repaid by the beneficiaries,” said Mr Moyo.

However, some quarters from the MDC-T tried to resist the ratification of the Victoria Falls Airport expansion deal, saying the Executive is disregarding Parliament’s role, a move which was crushed by legislators from Zanu PF and the smaller MDC formation.

The three loan agreements were presented to Parliament for ratification in accordance with Sub-section 1 of Section 11(b) of the constitution which provides that international deals acceded to with the authority of the President should be ratified by Parliament. 

The deals will come as a relief to the nation which has been failing to get cheap credit lines. 

The loans attract a 2% interest rate, 0,5 % management and commissioning rates payable over 20 years with a grace period of five years to complete payment. 

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