Africa Moyo Deputy News Editor
Government has disbursed $10 million into the Emergency Business Relief Fund established to help companies that were looted and destroyed by MDC-Alliance thugs in January.
Already, over $4,9 million has been released to allow victims of the attacks to restock to resume operations, making good of President Mnangagwa’s Government’s promise to rescue business operators whose enterprises were ruined by the violent protests.
This was said by Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa during a post-Cabinet Press briefing yesterday.
She said Cabinet received an update from Industry and Commerce Minister Nqobizitha Mangaliso Ndlovu on the disbursement of the Emergency Business Relief Fund for businesses affected by the January 14 to 16 demonstrations.
“So far, a tranche of $10 million out of the $30 million earmarked for the programme has been disbursed into the loan fund account,” said Minister Mutsvangwa.
“The total value of stocks looted, and damages to property and equipment belonging to the affected businesses is $24 494 771.
“A total of $4 964 133 has already been disbursed to replenish the stocks. Currently, the affected provinces are processing requests for equipment and infrastructure, with the disbursements expected to start this week.”
The criteria used to disburse the loans to affected beneficiaries include, among other things, that cash payments are made directly to suppliers of products, wholesalers or producers; with draw-downs accompanied by invoices or receipts.
Further, the affected businesses would also submit lists of their major suppliers.
The violent demonstrations mainly affected Bulawayo industries, with a huge number of the businesses either looted or destroyed or both.
Meanwhile, Minister Mutsvangwa said she reported to Cabinet on the Chinese global development strategy, famously known as the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).
The BRI is centred on the development of road, rail and seaport links to facilitate trade and economic development.
Minister Mutsvangwa said the initiative will “benefit Zimbabwe’s thrust to become an upper middle income country as encapsulated under Vision 2030”.