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Zim/IMF meeting postponed

Godfrey Marawanyika

THE International Monetary Fund (IMF) delegation that was expected in the country this week for Article IV consultations will only come next month as government has deferred the meeting.

The delay has been caused by the splitting of the then Ministry of Finance and Economic Development in last month’s cabinet.

Initially, the IMF delegation was supposed to be in the country from Tuesday this week until May 16. The date has been moved to June.

Article IV meetings are an annual process between the fund and its members, which among other things, review members’ obligations to the fund.

Finance minister Herbert Murerwa this week confirmed that the meeting would now take place next month.

“They will be here in June. This is by mutual agreement. We do not foresee any difficulty in us holding the meeting,” Murerwa said.

“It’s just a matter of timing as there are some administrative issues that are still to be put in place.”

There had been speculation in the market that the meeting had been postponed to allow RBZ governor Gideon Gono time to present his monetary policy review first, but Murerwa maintained that the decision was purely “administrative”.

Unless the programme changes, the IMF team will meet Zimbabwean leaders on issues pertaining to the Zimbabwe Allied Banking Group and the National Oil Company of Zimbabwe.

In February, the IMF’s executive board spared Zimbabwe from expulsion as a member but it noted the country’s payment of US$16,5 million fell short of requirements to cut the country’s arrears.

The board however noted efforts by Harare authorities to increase payments during the second quarter of this year, and urged Zimbabwe to resolve its overdue obligations.

Currently the country is in arrears to the IMF to the tune of US$306 million or about 57% of its quota to the fund.

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