FINANCE Minister Patrick Chinamasa has said Zimbabwe is re-engaging with the international financial institutions to enjoy the benefits of being a member and access lines of credit.
BY VICTORIA MTOMBA
Speaking during an interview with BBC on HardTalk on Monday, Chinamasa said Zimbabwe was a shareholder in the World Bank, International Monetary Fund (IMF) and was largest shareholder in African Development Bank from the sub Saharan Africa region.
As a shareholder, the country is entitled to enjoy benefits for its membership. Chinamasa was being interviewed on BBC HardTalk by Zeinab Badawi during his visit on reengagement with United Kingdom on arrears clearance.
“So all we are doing with reengagement is to enjoy the benefits of our membership access to credit. The engagement is to clear our arrears to enjoy the benefits of our membership and we are not ashamed of that,” he told the BBC HardTalk presenter.
Chinamasa, central bank governor John Mangudya and other government officials were in the UK for the re-engagement process towards arrears clearance. The country began talks with its creditors in October last year to clear the $1,8 billion arrears so Zimbabwe could access credit from financial institutions. Mangudya told NewsDay recently that the country will clear $110 million which is part of the $1,8 billion this year. Zimbabwe’s total debt to creditors is $10 billion.
The country is waiting for a medium term plan from the IMF after it successfully implemented the 15-month Staff Monitored Programme (SMP) in December 2015. The IMF team headed by Domenico Fanizza was happy with the way the country has met its targets both qualitative and quantitative targets when he came for a review during the first quarter of this year.
Chinamasa told BBC HardTalk programme that the engagement process was not an overnight event, but a process. Zimbabwe has been on SMP under the IMF. The SMP is an informal agreement between country authorities and fund staff to monitor the implementation of the authorities’ economic programme. Zimbabwe began the SMP in October 2014 through December 2015.
The SMP — a 15 month programme will help Zimbabwe normalise its relationship with some of its creditors.