Govt drafts new debt plan

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ZIMBABWE yesterday presented a new debt and arrears programme as well as a raft of economic and political reforms on the side-lines of the ongoing International Monetary Fund and World Bank spring meetings in Washington DC but did not get any commitment of fresh funding from multilateral lenders, it has been established.

By Bernard Mpofu

The Spring Meetings of the Boards of Governors of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank Group (WBG) bring together central bankers, ministers of finance and development, parliamentarians, private sector executives, representatives from civil society organisations and academics to discuss issues of global concern, including the world economic outlook, poverty eradication, economic development, and aid effectiveness.

Also featured are seminars, regional briefings, press conferences, and many other events focused on the global economy, international development, and the world’s financial system.

This year’s events are taking place in Washington DC.

Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa and Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor John Mangudya this week left for the meetings where they jettisoned the Lima Plan approved in 2015 for a new programme after the country’s creditor’s raised the flag over the cost of funding used by the southern African country to pay arrears due to the World Bank and the African Development Bank.

Mangudya, sources said also met some global fund managers and promised them that their investments would be secure in Zimbabwe under the new government which came into power last November following a military coup.

“Everything is premised on the elections. Zimbabwe presented its case during a technical session and what is now imperative for the country is to follow through on its commitments. The starting point would obviously be a free, fair and credible election. Thereafter the International Financial Institutions will be expected to engage Zimbabwe,” a Western diplomat familiar with the BrettonWoods spring meetings told the Zimbabwe Independent this week.

Questions sent to Mangudya on Wednesday were not responded to at the time of going to print.

Harare is seeking to clear the US$1,2 billion arrears to the World Bank and US$600 million owed to the AfDB to enable it to attract funding.

The diplomatic sources maintained that a binding decision will not be made on Zimbabwe at the Spring Meetings because the United States of America and some influential European Union members are adamant that the country should pass the legitimacy test before accessing fresh capital.

The Lima plan suffered a premature death due to usurious interest rates, costly mortgaging of mineral resources, the absence of a sustainable economic recovery plan and lack of political will to implement a raft of reforms.

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