in a bid to raise funds to clear its debt estimated to be over US$1.5 billion.

At a time when its creditors are queuing up to auction the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) assets, the bank announced that it was offloading shares in its blue-chip companies to clear the massive debt.

On Tuesday, the central bank invited bids for the companies as well as provision of financial advisory services for the disposal of the assets.
The central bank wholly owns two of the companies that are being sold.

In a notice published in local media, RBZ identified the companies as Tractive Power Holdings where the RBZ holds 58.7 per cent shareholding, Tuli Coal 70 per cent, Transload 50 per cent, Sirtech Private Limited 65 per cent, Homelink Money Transfer 100 per cent and Carslone Enterprise 100 per cent.

RBZ said participation in the acquisition of the assets was "open to all Zimbabwean citizens, locally registered companies as well as to foreigners and externally registered firms subject to the indeginisation laws of the country."

"In the case of individuals and bodies corporate wishing to acquire any of the assets under disposal, proof must be submitted relating but not limited to nationality and residency of the bidder as well as demonstration of ability to pay for the assets being acquired," RBZ stated.

As of July last year, the RBZ owed various creditors over US$1.5 billion, which accrued from its various quasi fiscal activities before the formation of the inclusive government.
The central bank had been borrowing to finance parastatals and other government interests.

A number of creditors including suppliers of agriculture inputs have attached RBZ property, which they have auctioned in different parts of the country.
The bank has also retrenched more than half of its staff to stay afloat but the governor Dr Gideon Gono says the financial problems have not eased.