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Zimbabwe Formulates Blueprint to Court IMF, Reduce Ballooning Debt

Zimbabwean Finance Minister Tendai Biti has formulated a plan dubbed the Zimbabwe Accelerated Re-Engagement Economic Program in an attempt to convince the International Monetary Fund to provide the much-needed financial assistance to Harare.

The IMF Article Four team that ended its 14-day mission in Zimbabwe this week indicated that it will not restore funding to the country until it clears its outstanding debts.

Zimbabwe owes the IMF about US$200 million.

The country’s external debt has also ballooned to US$9 billion dollars. Biti told VOA that the Article Four meetings are routine and carried out to assess Harare’s economic performance.

The IMF has estimated that returning Zimbabwe to the economic level where it stood in the mid-1990s could take as mush as US$45 billion over the next 5 years.

The inclusive government in Harare has been struggling to raise funds for reconstruction.

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