‘Keep politics out of our case’

Source: ‘Keep politics out of our case’ | The Herald September 30, 2016

Conrad Mwanawashe recently in LIVINGSTONE, Zambia

Zimbabwe does not expect international finance institutions to be led by “politics” but instead argue the country’s situation based on its membership to the organisations when they meet for their annual meetings next week.While the country acknowledges its debt obligations to the World Bank, International Monetary Fund and the African Development Bank, among its bilateral and multilateral creditors, Zimbabwe believes it should be given an ear since it is a member of the IFIs.

Zimbabwe owes international creditors close to $10 billion inclusive of arrears.

But in its push for fresh capital, badly needed for industry retooling, the country says it will push its case for support when the international financial institutions meet next week.

In that regard, side meetings have been scheduled with top IFIs representatives where proposals for fresh concessionary funding and the debt overhang are expected to feature.

The World Bank and International Monetary Fund will hold their annual meetings next week which the African Development Bank is expected to attend.

Finance and Economic Development Permanent Secretary Mr Willard Manungo told The Herald Business on the sidelines of a tour of the Batoka Godge Hydroelectric Scheme in Livingstone, Zambia, yesterday that Zimbabwe should draw support from international institutions since it is also a member of the organisations.

“On the sidelines of the meetings we are scheduling our own meetings,” said Mr Manungo.

“We will continue pushing our case because we do have a case and we feel we qualify because we are also a member of the institutions and we will say guys do not be led by politics,” he said.

Zimbabwe has had differences with the West over a number of policy positions and this has to an extent affected its relationship with the international community.

But in recent years, international organisations, among them WB, IMF, AfDB and the Paris Club have welcomed Zimbabwe’s commitment to make good its debt obligations.

Already Zimbabwe has completed Staff Monitored Programmes and Article IV consultations with the IMF.

Furthermore, IFIs and other creditors approved the country’s debt resolution strategy at their meeting in Lima, Peru.

This provided impetus for Zimbabwe to put together a comprehensive debt plan which is likely to be discussed at the forthcoming meetings.