In March, the Zimbabwean cabinet agreed to a new debt relief strategy that includes recourse to the IMF and World Bank’s Highly Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) initiative. President Robert Mugabe has voiced consistent resistance to the conditions of HIPC debt relief, but finance minister Tendai Biti has said that the move was a consensual “cabinet decision”. Reports also surfaced in June that Zimbabwe is considering entering into a Staff Monitored Programme with the IMF (see Update 71), meaning heavy Fund monitoring and conditionality but no additional finance. This idea has been rejected by Mugabe’s ZANU-PF party.
The IMF and the World Bank are increasingly engaged with the challenge of addressing how tax avoidance and evasion affect developing countries, but need to address the role played by multinational enterprises and tax havens in exacerbating inequality and undermining countries’ domestic revenues.
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