IMF Says Zimbabwe Reconstruction Could Cost US$45BN Over Five Years

By Blessing Zulu

imf_headquarters_in_washington_dc.jpgIMF Headquarters in Washington, DC
Washington - The Internationa

The national unity government installed in February has been struggling
to raise funds for reconstruction, but so far has only brought in
commitments for US$400 million from members of the Southern African
Development Community and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern
Africa, better known as Comesa.

Western donors and multilateral institutions like the IMF and World
Bank have been standing back waiting for more far-reaching reforms in
Harare, especially on respect for human rights, restoration of the rule
of law and governance in general.

Though the former opposition Movement for Democratic Change has a
majority in parliament and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, founder of
the MDC, heads the government, President Robert Mugabe has refused to
replace controversial figures such as Attorney General Johannes Tomana
and Reserve Bank Governor Gideon Gono.

Potential donors are waiting in particular for the removal of Gono,
whose misappropriation of funds from private and non-governmental
accounts at the central bank to fund the last government led by Mr.
Mugabe discredited him in the eyes of many observers – in particular
the diversion of US$7.3 million from the Global Fund to Fight HIV/AIDS.

Gono is also accused of stoking hyperinflation by printing massive
amounts of Zimbabwean dollars, ultimately destroying the currency's
value to such an extent that the government officially abandoned the
Zimbabwe dollar, adopting multiple hard currencies.

Finance Minister Biti told reporter Blessing Zulu of VOA’s Studio 7 for Zimbabwe
that the IMF, the World Bank, the African Development Bank and the
United Nations Development Program have set up a trust fund that will
serve to receive donor monies in such a way that they cannot be
diverted as occurred in the past at the central bank.

VOA News

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