Moza expands 14% as Zim shrinks 13%

Munyaradzi Wasosa

THE Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) has criticised the government for failing to formulate economic policies that are agreeable to the International Monetary Fund to secure much-needed

financial assistance from the Bretton Woods institution.


Commenting on the IMF statement at the end of Article IV consultations with Zimbabwe, MDC secretary for economic affairs, Tendai Biti, said: “The underlying issue highlighted by the IMF is that of a skewed economic and political system of governance,” he said.


“As long as the government does not revise its policies, we can forget about ever getting assistance.”


The IMF released a negative report on March 31 after holding consultations with the government, opposition political parties, representatives of civil society and the business community, among others.


In its report, the IMF said Zimbabwe had experienced a sharp economic and political decline since 1999. Biti told the Zimbabwe Independent that his party concurred with the IMF.


“Ours is the fastest shrinking economy in the world. This year alone, the economy is projected to shrink by about 13,2% while Mozambique’s economy is expected to grow by 14%,” he said.


The IMF has declared it will not resume balance of payments support to Zimbabwe because of unworkable policies and an unstable political environment.


The country owes the Bretton Woods institution at least US$290 million, a debt that government had not been servicing over the past two years.


The MDC said the government must introduce a debt cartel that will see an improvement in debt repayment.


“The government must set up a sector of the economy that is capable of generating foreign currency strictly for servicing international debt,” Biti said. “This can only happen if we have a government that operates transparently, which is not the case in Zimbabwe.”


According to the IMF, the country’s gross domestic product has declined by about 30%, and is expected to decline further. Inflation is currently hovering around 600%, and the country continues to record negative growth.