Zimbabwe’s commitment impresses IMF
AN International Monetary Fund (IMF) delegation visiting Zimbabwe to review progress made towards reforms under a Staff Monitored Programme (SMP) said Wednesday it had concluded its mission.
Head of the IMF team, Domenico Fanizza told reporters, after meeting Finance Minister, Patrick Chinamasa, that the global lender had been impressed by the country’s commitment towards implementing agreed reforms.
The IMF team said the southern African country had met its targets for June, with Chinamasa telling reporters that he was confident Harare would “stay on course” and achieve its targets for the remainder of the year.
“Zimbabwean authorities have moved forward with their reform programme despite difficult financial and economic conditions,” said Fanniza.
“This is remarkable and actually tells the full commitment which we believe is there from the authorities in what we call the reengagement process with the international financial community. What we are doing with the SMP is an attempt to rebuild relations that could eventually lead Zimbabwe to enjoy the support of the international financial institutions (such as) the World Bank (WB), the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the Africa Development Bank. We are pleased that the authorities have successfully implemented most of the programmes so far. We can now say that the authorities have respected all the targets for end of June, what we call the structural benchmarks. Actually they have implemented two of the benchmarks as we agreed. So, this is significant progress,” the IMF official said.
He said the IMF had been impressed by steps towards liberalising the labour market and ongoing restructuring processes in government finances.
Zimbabwe is in debt distress.
It is working with the IMF on the SMP on a road map that is expected to eventually lead to debt clearance and access to international financial markets to rebuild the economy.
The country last received funding from the IMF in 1999, which was stopped after incurring arrears.
The country’s arrears with the IMF, the WB and the African Development Bank (AFDB) currently stands at US$1,8 billion.
At the end of June Zimbabwe debt was estimated at about US$8,4 billion.
The external debt was US$6,7 billion and the domestic debt of US$1,7 billion.