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ADB Says Zimbabwe on Right Path, But Urges Full Unity Pact Implementation

  • Ntungamili Nkomo

ADB Southern Region Operations Director Abdirahman Beileh urged the so-called inclusive government in Harare to adhere to the unity pact and embrace sound macro-economic policies

A senior official of the African Development Bank said Tuesday that Zimbabwe is on the right track to economic recovery, but to achieve continued progress the the Global Political Agreement for power sharing must be implemented in full.

In an exclusive interview with VOA, ADB Southern Region Operations Director Abdirahman Beileh urged the so-called inclusive government in Harare to adhere to the unity pact and embrace sound macro-economic policies.

Due in Harare this week for meetings with government officials, Beileh said the bank has begun to make market-interest-rate loans to Harare under its Fragile States Facility. But he said full lending can only resume once Zimbabwe has cleared arrears of US$400 million. The country owes hundreds of millions more to the International Monetary Fund and World Bank.

"Zimbabwe indicators point that there is a fragility element and therefore, they have been getting funds that are put aside for fragile states," Beilah told VOA Studio 7 reporter Ntungamili Nkomo. "The country has a lot of arrears and we have to discuss with them how they can be funded."

He said while Zimbabwe has further to go, the future is bright if the government respects the unity agreement and pursues sound macro-economic policies.

Since its inception in February 2009, the unity government has been troubled on a regular basis by disagreements between President Robert Mugabe's ZANU-PF and the Movement for Democratic Change of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai over alleged breaches of the power-sharing agreement.

The ADB sent a team of experts to Harare in May to work with government on macro-economic stabilization, public finance, policy development and the rehabilitation of infrastructure, among other tasks.

Bulawayo-based economist Eric Bloch said Harare is doing many of the right things, but non-fulfillment of the GPA remains a major concern.

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