AN International Monetary Fund (IMF) team said Zimbabwe was under no obligation to pay US$200 million to avert suspension from the Bretton Woods institut
ion after facing a barrage of criticism from civil society over the morality of payments made against the backdrop of an escalating crisis in the country.
Sources in the non-governmental organisation (NGO) sector said Sharmini Coorey’s six-member team said the IMF had not compelled Zimbabwe to clear outstanding arrears but had pushed for a holistic implementation of sound policies to arrest the country’s worsening economic crisis.
NGO officials, who met Coorey’s team during its 10-day visit to the country to conduct routine Article IV consultations, said the team had acknowledged that Zimbabwe’s economy had continued to decline despite payment of outstanding arrears.
Civic society expressed concern over Zimbabwe’s payments to the IMF when government was failing to secure medicines and food for its sick and starving populations and fuel for critical economic activities.
Coorey refused to comment when contacted by businessdigest yesterday, referring all questions to the IMF’s external affairs department in Washington DC.