Skint Zimbabwe begs reviled IMF for help

via Skint Zimbabwe begs reviled IMF for help 10/11/2013 by Gilbert Nyambabvu NewZimbabwe

ZIMBABWE is making measly and largely token payments of just US$150,000 towards its reported US$11 billion, Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa revealed last week as he appealed to Western creditors to show some sympathy – and lend the country even more.

Chinamasa, who has been forced to delay the 2014 budget announcement by a month, revealed the dire state of the country’s debt situation to legislators last week.

He warned creditors that, unless they helped with more cash, it would take hundreds of years for Zimbabwe clear its foreign obligations.

His appeal for help will surprise those who remember former mines minister Obert Mpofu’s 2012 boast that, with an estimated 25 percent of the world’s diamonds and projected annual revenues of up to $2 billion from the gems, Zimbabwe would never need to beg for aid again.

Begging however, is what Chinamasa is effectively doing with organisations such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF), a frequent target of attack by President Robert Mugabe and his Zanu PF party.

“When all is said and considered, we are under a staff monitored programme which means we are unable to access benefits of our membership for concessional borrowing,” Chinamasa said.

“Because they are not giving us those benefits, it means we remain at a standstill which is not good even for the creditors. A creditor who wants to be paid will certainly capacitate the debtor to build his capacity to pay back.

“Bankers will know it will take us a lifetime or more than a lifetime to clear those arrears.”

Commenting after industry watchdog, the Kimberly Process, cleared Zimbabwe’s diamonds in August 2012, Mpofu, said Zimbabwe could expect $2 billion per year from the Marange diamonds, meaning the country would never need to beg for aid.

“We were recently given certification by the KP (to export diamonds), but we have already shaken the world market both in terms of pro­duction and demand. Our gems are a force to reckon with,” said the upbeat minister.

The gem revenues would however, continue to be a source of bitter rows in the coalition government with the MDC-T party claiming the cash was being diverted from treasury while Zanu PF countered that economic sanctions were blocking the country from fully benefiting from its diamond wealth.

The European Union (EU) recently lifted sanctions on the Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation (ZMDC) which represents government interests in the Marange diamond district.

Chinamasa said the development would help increase revenue from the diamond mining activities.

Even so, he urged the IMF and other multilateral lenders to be “flexible and to look at our situation as a unique one”.

“We are among the top five countries that are going to be targets for international capital inflows if we play our cards right. We need new money,” he said, in apparent reference to reports France may cancel the country’s debt.

The treasury chief admitted that the country was only able to make symbolic payments of US$150,000 on its external debt adding he felt the obligations were probably hugely overstated.

“We are currently verifying the size of our external debt. And we are doing so with the creditors, to agree on the figures as to what we owe, so that at least we know where we stand as a country,” he said.

“The media has been putting it at US$10,7 billion or US$11 billion, but it is much less. We are looking at around US$6 to US$7 billion.”



  • comment-avatar
    William Doctor 9 years ago

    ‘Appealed to western creditors to show sympathy’?

    What? Has ZanuPF shown any sympathy to the plight of the evicted farmers and their workers? Do they care about the people of Zimbabwe after stealing elections? Do they care about the 20000+ people murdered in Matabeleland in the 1980’s? Do they care about the opposition supporters murdered over the last 13 years?

    No – they don’t care. So f**k them.

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    The goon says it will take hundred of years to repay the debts!!!!! What an indictment of 33 years criminality impunity… But no. The debts will be totally written off mark my words the moment zanu ceases be governing oppressor and they their kids and relatives thrown into the new chikurubi. It’s so so simple. The vermin must be exterminated

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    What a joke, appealing for more loans for Chinamasa and his mates to steal.They don’t want Western help for anything else so lets see the diamond revenue they brag about.These institutions must NOT give ZANU one more cent, bring back all their ill-gotten gains to pay the arrears.

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    Zimbo 9 years ago

    Use the diamond money to pay off the debt. Argh bugga….. forgot, all diamond money going to Malaysian and Caribbean bank accounts of the chefs. The Western World should tell Mad Bob and his chefs to use their own money to pay Zimbabwe’s debt. Where in the real world does a president who earns a “modest” US$ 1,750 salary afford to build a house that is 3 times as big as State House, furnish it with all the most modern of appliances, import the roof tiles from China, marble from God only knows where. He is the most corrupt president I can think of. He is worth billions (reputably the richest president in Africa and the 4th richest president in the world). They should all be jailed in the new Chikurubi and left until the last breath of air is expelled from their rotten bodies.

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      Rudadiso 9 years ago

      Zimbo, not only does Mugabe live in a private residence 3 times the size of statehouse, he refuses to let go of the other two. In stead, this poor cash strapped nation has to keep building new houses for deputy presidents. It boggles the mind that he would not allow Tsvangirai to live in one of the houses. In stead, a new house had to be bought and renovated at a huge cost. Its as if Zimbabwe is his personal property.

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      Chivulamapoti 9 years ago

      The word id Chiefs, not Chefs, chefs are cooks!

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    Hisexcellency 9 years ago

    Zimbabweans maybe oppressed, but certainly corruption is not the way out. I mean Zimbabweans have to do everything to be sane again and stop this rot. They should also demand that the government be accountable to them. It’s an uphill task yes, but it does not mean it should be totally abandoned. What makes powerful dictators are passive citizens.

    Though elections are over, they have clearly shown that elections have not been effective to bring about a desired government in Zimbabwe. In future, Zimbabweans have to be sure of the independence of any electoral commission before they agree to an election. To be insane is to keep doing something over and over again, though it continually yields the same undesired outcome.

    Honest, independent people maybe rare, but they are not totally absent. Still, Zimbabaweans must not continue to live isolated individualistic lives. Though they have been divided for a long time, they need to come together and with one voice, demand their freedom. Freedom is the only hope for the future. We cannot remain any longer under Zanu Pf bondage.

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      Zimbabweans won’t do it. Most I speak to do not even read the news and just totally block out everything and just get on with their lives. They don’t want to know about politics. So how on earth will it ever change if no-one has the guts to stand up to them. In Europe and America at least people take a stand. That’s what brings about change.

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    Angela Wigmore 9 years ago

    Why is it that, despite the West’s professed ideology of equality and human rights, it does not regard Mugabe and his government as just people, rather than ‘black’ people, whose rights are more equal than others’? If it were a white dictator and white corrupt politicians who had destroyed a prosperous country and inflicted atrocities and misery on their citizens for self-enrichment, the West would soon put an end to it. Sadly, in their blinkered ignorance, they did just that to a government that was exactly the opposite in striving to continue enriching the lives of all its people.

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      Angel 9 years ago

      Genes in the DNA carry the instructions on how to make each and every feature that makes your body. We get our genes from our parents: one half comes from the father and the other half comes from the mother. Melanin, the skin’s brown pigment, is a natural sunscreen that protects tropical peoples from the many harmful effects of ultraviolet (UV) rays. UV rays can, for example, strip away folic acid, a nutrient essential to the development of healthy fetuses. Yet when a certain amount of UV rays penetrates the skin, it helps the human body use vitamin D to absorb the calcium necessary for strong bones. This delicate balancing act explains why the peoples that migrated to colder geographic zones with less sunlight developed lighter skin colour. As people moved to areas farther from the equator with lower UV levels, natural selection favoured lighter skin which allowed UV rays to penetrate and produce essential vitamin D. The darker skin of peoples who lived closer to the equator was important in preventing folate deficiency.

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    Zvichapera 9 years ago

    Sometimes you wonder which planet some of our people come from, 33 years of impunity and on a non stop roller coaster of corruption, looting, murder, tyranny, the list can go on and yet we are in such denial is beyond belief. How is it possible that some what get away with, you can’t have the cake and eat too.

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    Gudge 8 years ago

    Those guys ar jus bhazi remashanga,,fire is coming