DEBT-RIDDEN Zimbabwe will in October engage the International Monetary Fund (IMF) as the nation seeks approval from the Brettton Woods institution to settle a ballooning debt overhang currently standing at US$10,7 billion.
Non-payment and accumulation of debt began in 1999 due to balance of payment constraints with a proportion of the debt being inherited at Independence in 1980.
Newly-formed Zimbabwe Aid and Debt Management Office head Andrew Bvumbe told delegates attending a High Level Economic Forum which ended in Victoria Falls on Thursday that Finance ministry officials would meet with the IMF executive board to propose the country’s debt relief and arrears clearance plan.
This follows cabinet’s recent adoption of the Zimbabwe: Accelerated Arrears Clearance, Debt and Development Strategy (Zaadds), a debt plan to deal with the country’s arrears trap excluding the country from accessing capital from global financial markets.
Zaadds was a compromise blueprint after divisions emerged within the shaky inclusive government on whether the country should adopt the Highly Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) status or mortgage its mineral resources to settle the debt.
Addressing the same forum, World Bank Country Director for Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe, Kundhavi Kadiresan said: “Arrears cannot be rescheduled, they have to be settled before Zimbabwe can access funds,”. — Staff Writer.