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Bretton Woods Institutions Tell Zimbabwe Official More Reform Needed to Consider Aid

Though the IMF and World Bank demand further reform to consider aid, sources said the World Bank is looking at including Zimbabwe in an initiative to overhaul the energy sectors in three African countries

The International Monetary Fund and the Word Bank have told a top official in the former ruling ZANU-PF party of Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe that the international financial institutions need to further reform in Harare before they can extend any form of economic aid for economic reconstruction.

ZANU-PF chief Parliamentary Whip Joram Gumbo, a vice president of the Pan African Parliament, was in Washington this week for meetings at the two Bretton Woods Institutions.

He is only the second senior ZANU-PF official to travel to Washington since the unity government came into being.

Most top party officials are barred from travel to the United States under targeted sanctions.

Tourism Minister Walter Mzembi traveled to the American capital last year with Prime Minister Tsvangirai. Neither Mzembi nor Gumbo are on the sanctions list and are considered to be ZANU-PF moderates.

Gumbo told VOA Studio 7 reporter Blessing Zulu that despite the demand for reform, the World Bank is looking at including Zimbabwe in an initiative to revamp the energy sectors in three African countries.

Meanwhile, Zimbabwe's Ministry of State Enterprises said an audit of state-controlled companies found some top managers receiving salaries of up to US$14,000 a month, Web news agency ZimOnline reported.

VOA was unable to confirm the findings with State Enterprises Minister Joel Gabhuza.

Zimonline quoted Gabhuza as saying the audit of parastatals met with resistance from chief executives who provided false information or were under the protection of powerful politicians.

The ministry said the exercise, which started last month, is intended to rationalize salaries. Most parastatals are running in the red yet their managers receive perks such as gasoline and school fees for their children.

Most workers, including state employees, get no more than US$200 a month with the government strapped.

Economist and political analyst Rejoice Ngwenya told VOA Studio 7 reporter Patience Rusere that given the lifestyle of most state enterprise managers, the report’s findings are not surprising.