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Zimbabwe Seen Delaying IMF Assessment Ahead Of November Board Session

Tensions between the government of Zimbabwe and the International Monetary Fund are said to be on the rise, with Harare perceived to be dragging its feet on scheduling an IMF consultative visit with an IMF board meeting looming in two months.

Finance Ministry sources said bickering between the IMF and Zimbabwe has obliged the global lender of last resort to postpone the so-called Article IV consultative mission three times in the past three months. Senior IMF press officer Frances Hardin said the mission should take place later this year – but no dates for it have been set.

Zimbabwe's next IMF board review is due in November, but Finance Ministry sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the government wants the board to take up its case before the mission, fearing the emergence of unfavorable information.

In a meeting last December, the IMF board stayed for six months a possible decision to expel Zimbabwe, demanding in return that the Zimbabwean government undertake major economic reforms. But economists say Harare has not done much.

Reporter Blessing Zulu of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe interviewed economist John Robertson of Harare, who said Harare's delaying tactics were unlikely to work.

More reports from VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe...