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IMF Relaxes Restrictions on Zimbabwe

  • Gibbs Dube

Map of Zimbabwe

Map of Zimbabwe

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) says it has further relaxed restrictions on its technical assistance to Zimbabwe due to what it says is significant improvement in the country’s co-operation on economic policies and renewed commitments to pay back outstanding loans.

In a statement, the IMF said the decision opens the way for Zimbabwe to agree on an economic program that would be monitored by its staff. This will not include any financial assistance.

“Such a staff-monitored program would mark another significant step toward normalization of Zimbabwe’s relations with the IMF.”

Staff-monitored programs are informal agreements with the IMF which monitors and provides advice to state authorities on the design of various economic projects.

The current and new areas for IMF technical assistance to Zimbabwe - which owes the international financial institution $140 million - include tax policy and administration, public financial management and expenditure policy and anti-money laundering.

Parliamentary budget committee member Willas Madzimure said the IMF’s move is welcome. "The problem with Zimbabwe is that we have many brilliant ideas but we never implement them and that is why the IMF needs to monitor our programs," he said.

Analysts said Wednesday’s announcement does not mean the Southern African nation can access loans.