The government has refuted claims that were made by exiled former cabinet minister Professor Jonathan Moyo that those senior government officials looted a US$1.2 billion loan received by the National Oil and Infrastructure Company (NOIC) from a foreign company, Sotic International.
Responding to Prof Moyo’s claims, Ministry of Finance and Economic Development Permanent Secretary George Guvamatanga on Saturday said no such loan agreement was ever signed. He said:
The information is false. The value of the pipeline is US$300 million. Sotic could only lend money that it would have raised from its bankers unless it had free cash flows.
Which bank would lend you US$1.2 billion against the security of an asset worth US$300 million? One of the critical tenets of lending is the purpose of the loan and the source of repayment.
An international lender would not conduct adequate due diligence and lend a country $1.2 billion which will then be fraudulently diverted.
Prof Moyo claimed that NOIC was forced to mortgage the national oil pipeline to secure the $1.2 billion loan and that former Energy Minister Fortune Chasi was fired last week because of the deal.