Zim ready to engage the West


Patrick Chinamasa

FINANCE Minister Patrick Chinamasa said Thursday the country would begin talking to countries that imposed sanctions on Zimbabwe to persuade them to lift the embargoes.
The sanctions, which President Robert Mugabe blames for the current economic crisis, were imposed after the West accused government of gross human rights violations and electoral fraud.
The ruling ZANU PF says sanctions have costs the country over US$42 billion.
“The reality is that we are under sanctions,” Chinamasa told business leaders at a meeting with an International Monetary Fund (IMF) delegation in Harare.
“We should work out strategies to get those sanctions lifted. That means more engagement with those countries that say sanctions should continue. We should talk to them and we should consider it as a process. But before sanctions are lifted, we should not sit down and cry. Sanctions undermine our capacity to honour our debts to creditors,” said Chinamasa, who is responsible with the country’s debt repayments.
He said the country had failed to pay almost all its creditors. This, he said, was undermining efforts to access lines of credit from the international community, which now views Zimbabwe as a high risk debtor.
“The reality is that we are almost indebted to everybody who has done business with us,” Chinamasa said.
“We owe money to South Korea, Japan, China, Kuwait, BADEA, Europe, all countries in Europe literally, Canada, Australia and the multi lateral institutions as well as European Investment Bank, AfDB, (African Development Bank) World Bank and IMF. That is the reality.”
“If we ignore that reality, we will not go anywhere, we just go in a vicious circle. We must engage, we have to engage, if we don’t, we are shutting all avenues for development,” said Chinamasa.