Zimbabwe: IMF fact finding report could deal a fatal blow

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The International Monetary Fund fact finding mission concluded their task last night in Harare amid speculation that their report is not favorable for Zimbabwe.
The team was in the country on a routine Article IV consultations two years after the last visit.

The delegation which started its mission in Zimbabwe on March 9 will depart for Washington were they are only expected to release their findings either during the second week of April or last week of April, officials said.

The team’s visit that was led by Vitaliy Kramarenko, was overshadowed by the death of Zimbabwe Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s wife resulting in the team failing to meet Tsvangirai.

A fresh wave of invasion of white-owned commercial farms by supporters of President Robert Mugabe’s ZANU PF party also dominated the news during the time the IMF team was in the country.

“The issue of farm invasions which are a violation of property rights was raised by the IMF team and they are most likely to refer to it in their report,” said a government official who did not want to be named.

The IMF’s director for Africa, Antoinette Sayeh, two weeks ago said the Fund would not provide financial support to Zimbabwe until the country first clears its arrears and shows it was ready to pursue responsible economic policies.

The IMF cut balance-of-payments support to Zimbabwe in 1999 following differences with Mugabe over fiscal policy and other governance issues.

Zimbabwe’s new power-sharing government has promised to restore relations with the IMF and other international institutions.

Winning IMF backing 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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