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Gono’s appeal shot down

Augustine Mukaro

DONORS have shot down Reserve Bank governor Gideon Gono’s appeal for help in implementing his monetary policy, saying government should first create a conducive environment for political dia

logue and economic growth.

Gono has been meeting diplomats in Harare over the past two weeks to soften donors’ hard-line position on Zimbabwe and to convince financiers to open new lines of credit as well as provide balance of payment support.

Diplomatic sources who attended Gono’s luncheons said donors would be meeting soon to “make a collective response” to the governor’s request.

“As Zimbabwe already owes its creditors, the first thing will be to demand a convincing debt repayment plan with government commitment,” the diplomat said.

“We would also demand a workable plan for the creation of a viable economy and a return to the rule of law. We want a culture of accountability and credibility which respects democratic values and principles.”

A Japanese embassy spokesman this week confirmed meeting Gono together with other diplomats but would not give details of what transpired.

“We pay respect to the monetary policy and financial reforms which Gono has undertaken and wish success of it,” the spokesman said.

“However, an environment which is conducive to the international community to extend its support to Zimbabwe must be developed through economic and political reforms.”

Sources said diplomats were in the process of forming a taskforce that would lobby for the implementation of their demands by the government and other stakeholders.

“We are proposing to set up a diplomatic taskforce that will monitor government’s commitment and progress on our demands. The taskforce will then recommend to the international community as and when the environment is fine,” the diplomat said.

At diplomatic luncheons hosted by the United Nations Development Programme and the Sudanese embassy last week, Gono appealed for donors’ support for what he called “self-correction measures”.

Sources said Gono’s appeal was aimed at urging donors mainly in Europe, Japan and the United States to soften their demands for a political settlement before opening lines of credit.

Donors insist the 1998 donors conference recommendations on land reform should be revisited, effectively meaning that they are not accepting the current mode of agrarian reform despite Zimbabwe’s frantic efforts to cover-up serious discrepancies through legislative changes.

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