IMF winds up Zimbabwe mission

imf.jpgHARARE - The International Monetary Fund will today finalise its meetings in Zimbabwe ahead of its departure Tuesday having met government leaders and representatives of civic groups, labour and the business community.

The team was in the country on a routine Article IV consultations two years after the last visit.

The delegation which started its mission in Zimbabwe on March 9 will
depart for Washington were they are only expected to release their
findings either during the second week of April or last week of April,
officials said.

The team’s visit that was led by Vitaliy Kramarenko, was overshadowed
by the death of Zimbabwe Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s wife
resulting in the team failing to meet Tsvangirai whose is out of
Zimbabwe, in neighbouring South Africa recovering from the loss of his

A fresh wave of invasion of white-owned commercial farms by supporters
of President Robert Mugabe's ZANU PF party also dominated the news
during the time the IMF team was in the country.

The issue of farm invasions which are a violation of property rights
was raised by the IMF team and they are most likely to refer to it in
their report, said a government official who did not want to be named.

The IMF's director for Africa, Antoinette Sayeh, two weeks ago said the
Fund would not provide financial support to Zimbabwe until the country
first clears its arrears and shows it was ready to pursue responsible
economic policies.

The IMF cut balance-of-payments support to Zimbabwe in 1999 following
differences with Mugabe over fiscal policy and other governance issues.

Zimbabwe's new power-sharing government has promised to restore relations with the IMF and other international institutions.

Winning IMF backing is critical for Harare's new government to convince
skeptical Western governments to provide much needed financial
assistance and other support.


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