Finance Minister off to IMF meetings; stopping over in London for Africa summit

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By Alois Vinga

FINANCE minister Mthuli Ncube left Harare Saturday afternoon for Indonesia where he will attend meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.

“The minister will be attending a high-level meeting of IMF and World Bank in Bali, Indonesia which will run from the 10th to the 15th of this month,” said Patrick Taluzawi, an aide to the minister.

“He will be stopping over briefly in London where he will participate at the Africa Summit which will be hosted by The Financial Times.”

While launching the Transitional Stabilisation Programme (TSP) Friday morning, Ncube hinted that he was going to take advantage of the Bali meetings to brief global financiers on the reforms being initiated in Zimbabwe.

His visit comes after the IMF recently announced that it is working closely with President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s administration but maintained that financial support would only be availed if arrears to the World Bank and African Development Bank are settled.

IMF’s Communications Director, Gerry Rice recently told a press briefing that there are critical steps which Harare must take before getting any assistance. 

“….in light of reports that Britain will support Zimbabwe to get an interim IMF program to help the country quickly clear its foreign arrears,” said Rice.

“What I would say is we see the new administration of President Mnangagwa has expressed commitment to strong economic reforms and supporting reforms will require a comprehensive stabilisation and structural reform programme from the authorities and financial support from the international community to provide space for these reforms.”