21 January 2018
Tsvangirai golden handshake confirmed
DisGrace sneaks out three luxury cars
ED cuts Bob Singapore crew from 38 to 22
Call for Diaspora Minister and MPs
ED so over confident it worries him
Priscilla demands coup ‘killings’ details
CBD maize roasting must end now: Min
Tsvangirai faces disgraceful exit: Judge
ZTA targets domestic tourism
SOE DEBATE: Privatise most parastatals
Delight as ZBC 'Iron Lady' suspended
Sulu arrested over $4,000 child support
Mapeza targets CAF CL group stages
Tendai Ndoro special - says Ajax coach
Elections: Not a moment to be lost
A view beyond the Zimbabwe coup
Mnangagwa off to Davos empty handed
Economy: the need for a paradigm shift
IMF confirms return, rules out cash aid
13/06/2013 00:00:00
by AFP
We’ll seek China support: Chinamasa
China Zim’s biggest foreign investor
Economy: Where Biti is losing it
Debt blocks access to financial support
Recovery: Investors cautiously optimistic
IMF endorses debt clearance strategy
Zimbabwe seeks $10bn debt relief
Euro investment bank makes Zim return
Barclays MD: Exiles can help fire economy
SA opposition questions Zim loan
Treasury fails to meet revenue targets
Zim now nation of traders: ex-CZI boss
RBZ: Imports hurting economic recovery
Firms resort to rights issues for capital
SA imports hurting economy: Gono

THE International Monetary Fund announced Thursday it would work with Zimbabwe for the first time in more than a decade, as the country headed toward court-ordered elections next month.

The institution is not planning to provide Zimbabwe with any new funds, but Managing Director Christine Lagarde has approved monitoring of the country's economic program this year, the Fund said in a statement.

The agreement with Zimbabwe marks a key step in normalising relations with the country, whose fragile economy is threatened by political strains and massive public debt.

In October, the IMF relaxed its restrictions on providing consulting support to Zimbabwe as the country moved toward constitutional reforms and showed improvement in economic policy cooperation with the Fund.

The restrictions were imposed when Zimbabwe fell behind in repayments to the Fund. The IMF stripped Harare of its voting rights in 2003 and nearly expelled the country, a rare move for the Washington-based institution, in 2006.

In announcing its staff-monitored program, the IMF underlined that it is an informal agreement with the country's authorities that does not involve financial assistance or convey an endorsement by the IMF executive board.

"The SMP supports the Zimbabwean authorities' comprehensive adjustment and reform program and has been endorsed by Zimbabwe's cabinet, a strong signal of their commitment," the IMF said.

"A successful implementation of the SMP would be an important stepping stone toward helping Zimbabwe re-engage with the international community."

Though Zimbabwe has made considerable progress in stabilizing its economy since hyperinflation ended in 2009, a strong double-digit rebound in growth appears to have ended, slowing to about 4.5 percent in 2012, the IMF said.

Only marginally better growth of 5.0 percent is expected this year as mining output expands.

Zimbabwe's large debt burden is mostly in arrears, preventing the country from tapping external financing, and it owed the IMF $125.3 million in loan and interest payments as of May 31.

According to the Fund, Zimbabwe's entire external debt totalled $12.5 billion in 2012, a heavy 116.2 percent of gross domestic product. Nearly half, $6.7 billion, was in arrears.

"Going forward, sustaining high growth will require determined efforts at economic reform," the IMF said.

"In this regard, the SMP already envisages important reforms in public financial management, financial sector regulation, and other areas."


It outlined a program that would focus on protecting infrastructure investment and priority social spending, strengthening public financial management and improving transparency on diamond revenue.

Restructuring the central bank was also on the agenda of the program covering the period of April through December this year, the Fund said.

The IMF announcement came the same day as Zimbabwe sank into fresh political crisis, with Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai vowing to fight a “unilateral” decision by President Robert Mugabe to hold elections on July 31.

While Mugabe's move would comply with a constitutional court order to hold elections by the end of July, the date of the vote is fiercely contested.

Tsvangirai has vowed to veto any election date that comes before democratic reforms are put into place, fearing Mugabe's Zanu PF party may once again attempt to manipulate the vote.

In 2008 Tsvangirai led Mugabe in the first round of the presidential ballot, but withdrew from the run-off amid violence that left scores of supporters dead and thousands injured.

Email this to a friend Printable Version Discuss This Story
Share this article:

Digg it






Face Book



comments powered by Disqus
RSS NewsTicker