Zim owes SADC US$1 million

GABORONE - Zimbabwe owes the Southern African Development Community (SADC) more than US$1 million in outstanding membership contributions to the regional economic bloc, ZimOnline learnt this week.
Faced with a crippling shortage of hard currency, Harare has defaulted on its membership contributio

ns to the tune of US$1.17 million. According to sources at SADC’s Gaborone headquarters, Zimbabwe is one of two member states that are in arrears to the regional body. The other is the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), which has accumulated arrears of just over US$1 million.
“The Zimbabweans have not paid anything towards their membership contributions since April 2005 and, together with the DRC, owe the regional organisation more that US$2.1 million,” said a senior official, who cannot be named because he is not authorised to disclose such details to the Press. Malawi, which was also in arrears, has managed to clear its account. Both Zimbabwe Foreign Affairs Minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi and Finance Minister Herbert Murerwa were not available for comment on the matter.
SADC is an intergovernmental organisation whose objective is to establish an integrated southern Africa along the lines of the European Union. The ultimate aim is to create a customs union and common currency. The member contributions are used to run the organisation’s secretariat. The secretariat is charged with implementing SADC’s programmes and projects. Zimbabwe has also defaulted on its commitments to other multilateral organisations such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank and African Development Bank.
It owes the IMF about US$119 million in arrears to the Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility-Exogenous Shocks Facility Trust (PRGF-ESFT) although the southern African country managed to pay another US$193 million to the IMF to avoid expulsion from the Bretton Woods institution. Arrears on the PRGF-ESFT cannot lead to expulsion, although other action can be taken. – ZimOnline

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