FACTS AND FICTION: ZIMFACT
In an article headlined “Zim to get US$34bn facilities”, published on Friday, July 12, 2019, The Herald reported that Zimbabwe was to see investment worth US$34 billion over the next decade.
The claim was premised on comments made by the African Development Bank’s (AfDB) principal country economist, Walter Odero, at the launch of the bank’s 2019
Zimbabwe Infrastructure Flagship Report at an event in Harare on Thursday, July 11.
According to The Herald: “Zimbabwe is set to achieve US$34 billion worth of infrastructure development in the next decade, the African Development Bank has
said. The country is set to close its gap, thanks to government’s policies, and the 2019 Zimbabwe Infrastructure Flagship Report, which was prepared by the
bank on behalf of the government and launched in Harare yesterday outlines Zimbabwe’s leap in the next decade.”
This is an inaccurate interpretation of both Odero’s remarks, and of the report itself. The AfDB only said that Zimbabwe needs US$34 billion to close its
infrastructure gap, and not, as suggested by The Herald, that the country will get facilities to fund the investment.
In its report on the launch of the report, The Herald itself quotes Odero as saying: “The report we are launching today confirms that the country needs US$34
billion over the next decade to restore its road, rail, aviation, energy, ICT and water and sanitation infrastructure to proper working condition.”
The report was more accurately captured by other media. BusinessWeekly reported that “Zim needs $34bn for infrastructure upgrade”.
The Herald’s claim that Zimbabwe is to get US$34 billion worth of facilities for infrastructure is misleading. What the AfDB report, and its chief economist
said, was that US$34 billion is what the country needs to raise for infrastructure rehabilitation.