Zimbabwe: IMF goes on a fact-finding mission

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The International Monetary Fund (IMF) fact-finding mission would be dispatched to Harare next week for a seris of consultations.

The fund was last in Harare in 2006 and this time it is a the invitation of Zimbabwe.

“At the request of Zimbabwe’s authorities, an International Monetary Fund staff team led by Vitaliy Kramarenko will visit Harare during March 9-24 to conduct the 2009 Article IV consultation discussions with Zimbabwe,” reads a statement from IMF

It says the IMF conducts such discussions, which focus on a country’s economic prospects and policies, with all its members on a regular basis.

“The IMF mission will review Zimbabwe’s economic situation and prospects and discuss with the authorities their policies to address the acute economic and humanitarian crisis facing the country”

During its stay here the IMF team would meet with Finance Minister Tendai Biti and other senior officials, as well as representatives of civil society and the financial, business, academic, and diplomatic communities.

The IMF severed balance-of-payments support to Zimbabwe in 1999 following differences with President Robert Mugabe over fiscal policy among other governance issues.

But Zimbabwe, now under a new power-sharing government between Mugabe and former opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai, who is the country’s new Prime Minister, has promised to restore relations with the IMF and other international institutions.

Winning IMF backing for its economic recovery programme is critical for Harare’s new government to convince skeptical Western governments to provide much needed financial assistance and other support.

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