Government made a $2,5 million payment after Holbud threatened to cut off the deal citing Harare’s delay in meeting its financial obligations.
Holbud delivered 30 000 metric tonnes of wheat worth $12,2 million. The UK based supplier last week raised concern over Zimbabwe’s delay in paying for the wheat that docked in Beira nine days ago. Full electronic payment of the bulk consignment was expected on arrival and the wheat has been attracting $17 000 storage charges daily.
Minister of Industry and Commerce Mangaliso Ndlovu yesterday confirmed the payment, but said Government was faced with a number of priorities in foreign currency allocation. He said wheat is not a primary concern at the moment. Said Ndlovu:
With the wheat stocks that we have at GMB, surely you can agree with me that this (new consignment) is not an immediate priority. But our wheat stocks do not last us the whole year. We will assist the importers when foreign currency is available, but it should be noted that we have other competing needs.