In September the IMF executive board praised Zimbabwe’s efforts to repay its debts to the Fund and relaxed restrictions on technical assistance. Despite attempts to re-establish links with multilateral agencies, Zimbabwe still owes $131 million in arrears to the IMF’s Poverty Reduction and Growth Trust, which has barred it from receiving new loans since 2001. The IMF board also advised the Zimbabwean government to seek funding for its census, as well as for the upcoming constitutional referendum and presidential elections, rather than further increasing its $400 million budget deficit.
A real new page for Zimbabwe starts with a fresh debt-free breath
Hopewell Gumbo of the Zimbabwe Coalition on Debt and Development commented, “It is still unfortunate huge amounts of money are being paid to settle Zimbabwe’s debt against a crippled and bleeding social services delivery system. Our resources are better used for the betterment of people’s livelihoods. A determined audit of Zimbabwe’s debt is, in our view, a prerequisite before we can embark on a repayment expedition. We remain skeptical about opening up to an IMF monitored program which will rub salt into wounds incurred under the Economic Structural Adjustment Program of the mid 90s. A real new page for Zimbabwe starts with a fresh debt-free breath.”