via France to resume lending to Zim – DailyNews Live by Pindai Dube 18 MARCH 2014
Direct government to government co-operation between France and Zimbabwe will resume before the end of the year, French Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Laurent Delahousse has said.
Delahousse told a Zimbabwe Election Support Network (Zesn) post-election review conference in Bulawayo the donor community was keen to lend support to the Zimbabwe government desperate for funding for its economic turnaround programme.
The Zanu PF government is in desperate need of cash and President Robert Mugabe in December pleaded with the United Nations (UN) to cut development aid to the country through humanitarian organisations and instead direct funding to State coffers for government to finance its programmes.
“The donor community, the European Union in general and my country in particular will continue to lend support to Zimbabwe through the European Development Fund provided the government of Zimbabwe agrees,” Delahousse told delegates.
“We are going to resume direct government to government co-operation with Zimbabwe from the beginning of November if everything goes on well.”
Relations between Zimbabwe and the West turned frosty over human rights abuses, resulting in the latter imposing targeted sanctions on the ruling elite and selected State parastatals and companies linked to them.
Zimbabwe has been failing for years to access funds from the EU and the West owing to the strained relations.
The situation is further worsened by the country’s unserviced debt nearing $10 billion to multilateral finance institutions like the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
However, there has been a thawing of relations as seen by the easing of sanctions in what analysts suggest could be time for better ties and loosening of purse strings.
Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa has returned empty-handed from fundraising trips to the IMF, World Bank and China.