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US$7,5m tourism revolving fund lies idle

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US$7,5m tourism revolving fund lies idle


Ellen Mlambo

MASVINGO – Tourism Business Council of Zimbabwe (TBCZ) president Wengayi Nhau has said that there is a US$7,5million revolving grant launched by Government in 2022 which is lying idle because banks are yet to come out with disbursement modalities.
He said this on the side-lines of a tourism; Trade in Services Workshop at Flamboyant, a Regency Group hotel recently. The disbursement framework has not been clarified and so far no one has accessed the money yet, he said.
The revolving fund was launched to support the upgrading and development initiatives in the sector after the ravaging COVID-19 pandemic which brought tourism to its knees.
Nhau said few players have applied for the grant but none have received the money.
The money can be accessed from FBC, CBZ and CABS.
“There has not been much uptake, it’s very slow because people still don’t understand the terms and conditions of the disbursements as the banks have not availed that to us. We are waiting for disbursement modalities,” he said
Minister of Finance and Economic Development Mthuli Ncube said the money is available and there are processes being taken.
“The money is there now, it’s a matter of processes,” he said.
Nhau added that little has been said over the tenure and repayment of the loans. He said players in the tourism industry require loans of at least up to five years.
“One sticky point is the tenure of repayment because the economic environment seems to support short term loan tenures. Tourism is a medium to long term investment sector. Lack of medium to long term funding is a hindrance to the accessing of finances by the sector,” he said.

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