#EUTweebate: ‘Lima is Zim’s Damascene moment that Look East Policy failed’
THE International Monetary Fund has said the arrears clearance strategy presented by the government of Zimbabwe to multilateral financial organizations in October in Lima Peru offers new doors to the country in as far as accessing finance and more debt lines is concerned.
Speaking at the European Union (EU)’s first ever twitter debate #EUTweebate held in Harare, IMF resident representative Christian Beddies said following Lima, two key aspects needed to turn around the economy of Zimbabwe were the formulating of reforms and regaining access to finance at a low costs.
Beddies said Zimbabwe was on the move as shown through the strides towards public sector reform.
“The Staff Monitoring Programme is a truly Zimbabwean programme and the IMF is only there to monitor,” said Beddies.
Another panelist at the #EUTweebate, Director of the Labour and Economic Development Research of Zimbabwe Godfrey Kanyenze said the Lima agreement is a Damascene moment that shows Zimbabwe cannot go it alone.
Kanyenze said the old narratives of sanctions were exhausted and Zimbabwe had to face reality and engage the West too as the look East Policy had failed.
“We need to have a single narrative and everyone has the right to know so that it becomes inclusive,” he said.
Kanyenze added that Zimbabwe has vast minerals but the management of these resources was poor, with a leakage of US$1,8 billion yearly.
Zimbabwean Investment Authority Chair (ZIA) Nigel Chanakira, another panelist at the twitter debate, said after Lima, Zimbabwe’s economy could change for the positive.
He added for the first time in 29 years, Zimbabwe was seeing positive steps in welcoming foreign investors.
“Now is a better time than ever to be courting international partners for both debt and equity,” said Chanakira.
Swedish Ambassador to Zimbabwe Lars Ronnas, said Lima was no longer just regarded as the capital of Peru but the code-word for Zimbabwe’s prospects to normalise relations with foreign creditors.
The live panel debate facilitated by EU, was initiated to create dialogue over the Lima debt clearance agreement looking at what it meant for Zimbabwe.
The arrears clearance plan entails clearing Zimbabwe’s arrears to IMF ($110 million), World Bank (US$1,15 billion) and AfDB ($601 million) by the end of April 2016. FinX
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